Met Police chief blasts e-scooters as ‘absolute death traps’ ahead of London trial

Simon Ovens, from the Metropolitan Police’s road and transport policing command, said that officers had seized about 800 already this year, around four a day

Met Police chief blasts e-scooters as ‘absolute death traps’ ahead of a huge trial rental scheme where Londoners can travel around the city at 12.5mph

  • Simon Ovens said that officers had seized about 800 scooters already this year
  • In 2018 had four recorded e-scooter collisions in London, rising to 32 in 2019 
  • Comes as a 51-year-old teacher suffered nerve damage as a result of a crash 

E-scooters are ‘absolute death traps’, a Met Police chief has warned ahead of a huge trial rental scheme.

Riders can hire one of the vehicles to travel around the capital at up to 12.5mph from Monday, despite numerous safety warnings.

Simon Ovens, from the Metropolitan Police’s road and transport policing command, said that officers had seized about 800 already this year, around four a day.

Simon Ovens, from the Metropolitan Police’s road and transport policing command, said that officers had seized about 800 already this year, around four a day

Simon Ovens, from the Metropolitan Police’s road and transport policing command, said that officers had seized about 800 already this year, around four a day

Joanna Johnson, wife of Rugby Football League chairman Simon Johnson, was left in ‘indescribable pain’ after being struck by the hit-and-run rider at 20mph as she walked to her car last July

Joanna Johnson, wife of Rugby Football League chairman Simon Johnson, was left in ‘indescribable pain’ after being struck by the hit-and-run rider at 20mph as she walked to her car last July

Mrs Johnson, from north-west London, said: ‘It came completely out of the blue as it was totally silent and I was knocked to the ground with severe force

Mrs Johnson, from north-west London, said: ‘It came completely out of the blue as it was totally silent and I was knocked to the ground with severe force

Ban teenagers from e-scooters, says mum in hit-and-run horror 

A mother-of-three taken to hospital in agony after being hit by a teen on an electric scooter has called for a ban on under-21s using them.

Joanna Johnson, wife of Rugby Football League chairman Simon Johnson, was left in ‘indescribable pain’ after being struck by the hit-and-run rider at 20mph last July.

The 51-year-old teacher suffered serious nerve damage and had to have seven procedures on her leg after the crash in Mill Hill, north London. She was on crutches for five weeks and still feels pain.

Mrs Johnson said: ‘It came completely out of the blue as it was totally silent and I was knocked to the ground with severe force.

‘People under 21 should be banned from e-scooters. These are silent, motorised vehicles capable of doing around 20mph and that is enough for a lethal impact, yet children are riding them on streets and pavements.’

 

In 2018, there were four recorded e-scooter collisions in London, which rose to 32 in 2019.

Accident numbers are thought to be under-reported, as riders using them in prohibited areas are unlikely to tell police about collisions. Privately owned e-scooters have always been banned on public roads and pavements in Britain.

The Daily Mail has revealed how the vehicles have already been involved in hundreds of crimes including drive-by shootings, robberies and assaults.

Scotland Yard recorded more than 200 incidents involving them last year. The price of an e-scooter can start at around £350, with some high-end models selling for nearly £1,000. Their speed is capped at 15.5mph but they can be modified to race at up to 70mph.

In 2019, TV presenter Emily Hartridge, 35, became the first person in Britain to die in an e-scooter accident when she hit a lorry while riding in Battersea, south London.

‘The scooter was being unsuitably driven, too fast and with an underinflated tyre, and this caused the loss of control and her death’, a coroner concluded.

Tory peer Lord Blencathra has described the devices as ‘silent killing machines’.

But Transport for London (TfL) hailed the 12-month rental scheme as a key part of the city’s sustainable future and post-pandemic recovery.

Initially 200 scooters will be made available to riders aged over 18 who hold a valid driver’s licence. The scooters will cost £1 to unlock and then 16p per minute.

More than 40 towns and cities, including Birmingham and Manchester, are already taking part in the trial. 

The 51-year-old teacher suffered serious nerve damage and had to have seven procedures on her leg after the crash in Mill Hill, north London . She was on crutches for five weeks and still feels pain when she walks almost a year on. Although e-scooters can only legally be used on private land, they are now becoming widely used on roads and pavements

The 51-year-old teacher suffered serious nerve damage and had to have seven procedures on her leg after the crash in Mill Hill, north London . She was on crutches for five weeks and still feels pain when she walks almost a year on. Although e-scooters can only legally be used on private land, they are now becoming widely used on roads and pavements

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