There were as many crashes involving e-scooters in the first half of last year as in the whole of 2020, figures show. Between January and June 2021, 258 collisions were recorded, compared with 266 in the whole of 2020. During 2019 there were 38 incidents, while there were nine in 2018.
The Met Police also seized more than 3,600 privately owned e-scooters during 2021. The increase in crashes was revealed in a written question to London’s mayor. The use of privately-owned e-scooters is banned on public land in the UK, although a rental scheme was introduced in some parts of London in June 2021.
In December, Transport for London (TfL) banned people from taking e-scooters and e-unicycles on its network even if they are folded and being carried, due to the devices causing a number of fires.
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The number of collisions involving e-scooter on London’s roads has risen dramatically in recent years.
Last July, 16-year-old Junior Shay Alexander died after a collision between an e-scooter and a car in Bromley, southeast London, with a man later arrested on suspicion of causing the death of causing death by dangerous driving.
He was one of three people in the UK who were killed in incidents involving the devices over the 12 months to June 2021, according to the Department for Transport figures.
Of 931 people injured in crashes across the UK during that time, more than half were also in the capital.
Labour’s London Assembly policing and crime spokesman Unmesh Desai said: “The use of illegal e-scooters on our roads and pavement is putting Londoners at risk of significant harm – especially the most vulnerable in our communities such as people with limited mobility, visual impairments and sharing loss. “Whilst it is concerning that these figures are likely to be just the tip of the iceberg, it has been encouraging to see the scale of enforcement action taken by TfL and the Met Police so far.
The worrying statistic represents a marked increase in collisions involving e-scooter compared to previous years. Police recorded just nine incidents in 2018 and 38 in 2019, while 266 collisions occurred in 2020.
The issue was brought to light by Labour London Assembly Member Unmesh Desai, who requested the figures from Sadiq Khan.
Mr. Desai has said that the use of illegal e-scooters in the capital is “putting Londoners at risk of significant harm” and called for people to stick to TfL’s e-scooters rental trials.