DfT: “we are not yet able to fully assess the quality of the e-scooter data”

The recent release of e-scooter accident data by DfT is subject to this very significant caveat. The publication also notes that scooter accidents are the most likely to be under-reported, which further adds to the limitations. Nevertheless, there are some fairly clear signals from this data, being:

  • reported accidents are increasing month on month
  • late afternoon / early evening is the peak time for accidents involving scooters
  • men under 40 account for more than half of reported injuries
  • the Met Police recorded nearly 300 accidents in 2020 and was the only force reporting more than 20
  • only one fatality was reported in 2020 (whereas PACTS observed eleven from 2019 to 2021)

It is likely that this limited data release might be the only data we see from DfT before it publishes much more detailed analysis of the various e-scooter trials some time next year.


Written by Alistair Kinley, Director of Policy and Government Affairs at BLM (alistair.kinley@blmlaw.com)

The recording of our recent e-scooters webinar is now available here.

Scope of compulsory motor insurance (Vnuk): MPs and MEPs to scrutinise legislation this week

The Parliaments in Westminster and Strasbourg will examine separate (and slightly different) sets of proposals for restricting the scope of motor insurance to something a lot closer to that which applied before the Vnuk decision in 2014. It is completely coincidental that this activity is due to happen on consecutive days.

First, on Thursday, the European Parliament will hold a plenary vote on amendments which were agreed in principle by the European institutions earlier in the year (see this blog from June). We therefore expect them to pass. Then, on Friday, Westminster MPs are due to consider the Motor Vehicles (Compulsory Insurance) Bill. As we have noted before, despite its objectives having government support it is not a government Bill and, as such, the chances of it proceeding further look at the moment to be slim, although they are not negligible.

Positive developments in both legislatures later in the week would inject some real momentum into the reform processes and might permit us to begin to sketch out plausible timetables for implementation of entirely separate but nevertheless similar reforms in the UK and across Europe.


Written by Alistair Kinley, Director of Policy and Government Affairs at BLM (alistair.kinley@blmlaw.com)

E-scooters – themes from our first event on 11 October

I was pleased to chair our e-scooters webinar on Monday and note that we had close to 200 logging on. Thanks to those who joined us, to colleagues from BLM who took part and to our events team for sorting out the online arrangements.

You can view a recording of the ‘E-Scooters: getting you up to speed’ webinar here.

Claims issues surrounding scooter use are at a very early stage – but cases are already out there – so we focused on exploring the rationale behind the government-authorised trials and the regulatory points that can’t be avoided once the trials have concluded next year. The awkward question of whether or not to legalise the more widespread use of e-scooters really will have to be addressed then.

We also examined some of the framework governing highway maintenance and inspection and how scooter riding might fit in. This is clearly a live issue for those local authorities currently hosting trials and could assume greater significance if the ban on the use of privately-owned scooters on roads was to be relaxed.

We received quite a few questions on possible options for insuring liabilities arising from scooter use, along with several about illegality defences and contributory negligence arguments.

As well as continuing the dialogue with those who attended on Monday, we plan to host a further webinar (or hybrid event) in the New Year, looking at the regulatory framework for e-scooters more widely. Please keep an eye out for details of that on our usual BLM channels.


Alistair Kinley, Director of Policy & Government Affairs
alistair.kinley@blmlaw.com