Safety and irresponsible use
Councillors agree that the most common issue raised around rental e-scooters is their lack of safety, particularly in relation to irresponsible riding and use. Councillors find many constituents perceive the rental e-scooters as dangerous. For the rider, they are seen as dangerous due to the lack of helmet provision with the e-scooter, as well as the inappropriateness of road conditions to support the trial. For example, councillors relay that cars often drive less than 2m from e-scooters, made worse by the abundance of narrow roads in the city, e.g. Eastwood, Elmwood, Southwood.
From a pedestrian outlook, councillors highlight that many residents are worried about being hit by an e-scooter rider. The quietness of the rental e-scooter makes them a particular hazard for the elderly or disabled, as it is difficult to hear them approaching.
Constituents often complain of irresponsible use of the rental e-scooters, with users riding two to a scooter, wearing headphones, using their mobile phones, and crossing at junctions without looking. Issues have also been raised with underage riders using the rental e-scooters.
“If they’re [e-scooter riders] coming on pavements or they’re going really fast and not stopping at junctions, just generally not having good road sense, then obviously that’s bad for people who are, you know, disabled or partially sighted.”
“I did receive actually two complaints yesterday from the Cosham High Street precinct … One lady was over 70. She’s disabled as well and she didn’t see.”