E-scooters – product liability issues to consider?

E-scooters have attracted considerable press attention throughout the pandemic. Some see them as a clean transport solution to urban congestion and that is certainly among the reasons for the UK government introducing the current e-scooter hire scheme trials. On the downside, one source has estimated that e-scooters will be involved in up to 200,000 accidents this year (Nextbase, in July 2021) and others report they are used as getaway vehicles for criminals (perhaps displacing thefts/mugging by moped riders?). As well as these risks, there is also potential for new product liability litigation arising from defective scooters.

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E-scooters: getting you up to speed

Last summer the government acted to permit the use of hired e-scooters in pre-approved local authority areas in England & Wales. There are now over 30 trials taking place, with a scheme in London finally taking off this July. Aside from these trials, which are due to run until March 2022, road use of privately-owned scooters remains illegal and while various police forces have run targeted enforcement and seizure campaigns, ever-increasing numbers of the public seem happy to flout the ban (or may not even be aware of it) and ride on the roads and on the pavements.

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