E-Scooters: Are They a Good or Bad Thing? Survey Data

19th May 2021 Personal Injury

Electric scooters, or e-scooters, have grown in popularity in recent years for their ease of use, portability and environmentally friendly qualities. However, the law regarding e-scooters can be easily misunderstood and there are concerns over safety. JMW Solicitors launched a survey to find out the public’s knowledge and opinions on e-scooters.

Here, we take you through the key trends identified from the survey of more than 1,000 people and provide all the data from the results.


One quarter of people have used an e-scooter

Results from the survey revealed that 25% of respondents have used an e-scooter, while 61% admitted they were open to riding one. Some 13% of people own an e-scooter - at the moment, privately-owned e-scooters can only be used on private land and are not allowed to be ridden in public.

Of those who own an e-scooter, 70% think that they can be used in public, which suggests that these owners may be breaking the law as only rental e-scooters can be used in public. From 1st August 2020, it became legal for rented e-scooters to be used in public with the Department for Transport publishing guidance that included:

  • Banned use of e-scooters on pavements
  • A speed limit of 15.5mph
  • Recommendations to wear a helmet

Despite this guidance, 68% of e-scooter owners think the contraption can be used on pavements, while 12% admitted to not wearing a helmet.

Significant lack of knowledge around e-scooter law

Our survey highlighted a real lack of knowledge around the rules of using e-scooters, with more than half of respondents (52%) admitting to not knowing the related law. More than a quarter (29%) think that a privately-owned e-scooter can be used in public and 16% think e-scooters can be used on the pavement.

Furthermore, despite 65% of people thinking that e-scooters are safe, the majority (44%) don’t know enough to make a decision regarding e-scooters being made legal - 41% said that e-scooter usage should be made legal.

Do you know the law related to e-scooters.jpg

Answer ChoicesPercentageResponses
Yes, I know the law19.44%216
I think I know the laws28.17%313
No, I don't know the rules52.39%582

More than half of people think e-scooter use should be licenced

The survey revealed that 56% of respondents think e-scooter use should require a licence, similar to driving. When asked to explain their answer, most responses were related to safety concerns:

  • “I believe all cyclists and scooter users should pass a test, have insurance and be required to wear a helmet to be on the road.”
  • “It would regulate their use and mean you can be fined for being unsafe on one.”
  • “Due to the speed they can travel and the potential damage that could be caused in a collision.”
  • “It’s a motorised form of transport, even if it is electrical, therefore, you should pass a test, get a licence and be insured, that way the rider may use their e-scooter more responsibly.”

Majority of survey respondents want e-scooter to be age restricted

The majority of participants (85%) expressed that e-scooter use should be age restricted, with 82% of respondents suggesting use should only be allowed for over 16s, while a quarter said use should be restricted until a person is over 18 years old.

Respondents also believed that riders should receive the same safety advice as cyclists (93%), with e-scooter users having to wear a helmet (88%) and high-visibility clothing (74%).

The full survey results

How safe do/would people feel riding an e-scooter in the following places?

How safe do would people feel riding an e-scooter in the following places.jpg
 

Very UnsafeUnsafeNeither Safe nor UnsafeSafeVery Safe
Pavement19.95%21.82%17.80%32.11%8.32%
On the road38.01%32.20%15.38%10.55%3.85%
In a bike lane on the road13.51%22.00%20.93%35.78%7.78%
In a bike lane separate from the road8.05%11.36%15.21%45.80%19.59%
Parks9.39%8.68%20.04%40.97%20.93%

What reasons have incentivised/would incentivise you to use an e-scooter?

What reasons have incentivised would incentivise you to use an e-scooter.jpg

Answer ChoicesPercentageResponses
To save time40.88%457
To make my journey easier31.75%355
For fun40.07%448
To be considerate to the environment34.26%383
To save money24.78%277
To avoid congestion29.43%329
To avoid having to find car parking26.48%296
To avoid having to get public transport29.07%325
To get to places not served by public transport27.46%307
As back up to my usual mode of transport15.21%170
Other (please specify)6.89%77

Can you use a privately-owned e-scooter in public?

Can you use a privately-owned e-scooter in public.jpg

Answer ChoicesPercentageResponses
Yes28.80%320
I don't know38.61%429
No32.58%362

Can you use an e-scooter on the pavement?

Can you use an e-scooter on the pavement.jpg

Answer ChoicesPercentageResponses
Yes16.47%183
I don't know36.99%411
No46.53%517

Do you think e-scooter usage should be made legal?

Do you think e-scooter usage should be made legal.jpg

Answer ChoicesPercentageResponses
Yes41.49%461
I don't know enough to make a decision44.10%490
No14.40%160

Do you think e-scooters are safe?

Do you think e-scooters are safe.jpg

Answer ChoicesPercentageResponses
Yes63.03%682
No36.97%400

How safe would you feel as a pedestrian sharing the pavement with e-scooter users?

How safe would you feel as a pedestrian sharing the pavement with e-scooter users.jpg

Answer ChoicesPercentageResponses
Very Unsafe25.69%278
Unsafe32.62%353
Neither Safe or Unsafe21.90%237
Safe16.27%176
Very Safe3.51%38

What age do you think people should be allowed to ride an e-scooter?

What age do you think people should be allowed to ride an e-scooter.jpg

Answer ChoicesPercentageResponses
Under 12 years old3.42%37
12 years old4.44%48
13 years old1.76%19
14 years old4.81%52
15 years old3.51%38
16 years old33.09%358
17 years old9.15%99
18 years old14.79%160
Over 18 years old25.05%271

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Richard Powell is a Partner and Head of Department located in Manchesterin our Personal Injury department

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