Charity for the Blind Not Keen on Looming e-Scooter Rental Legalisation

By Gary Cutlack on at

The sudden UK legalisation of electric scooters has found a surprising enemy in the form of the Royal National Institute of Blind People, which says it's shocked that the speed limit for the things has been set at 15.5mph.

This makes them a "real and genuine threat" for anyone who struggles to get about the place due to problems with their sight, and mitigations like requiring riders to have a driving licence do not go far enough. Eleanor Southwood from the RNIB said she'd hoped to see an "absolute maximum" limit of 12.5mph applied to the things, but no. It seems to have been a recent and unexpected change too, as the results of the government consultation revealed in June defined an electric scooter as something with a maximum speed of 12.5mph; the rental industry must've done a smart bit of emergency lobbying this last few weeks to get that upgraded on the quiet.

It's not just about the speed though. As we've seen with bike hire schemes, people aren't exactly meticulous about returning things to their proper places in their proper orientations when they're done with their rides, creating trip hazards galore around the pavements. Plus there's bound to be a few riders who flout the rules and bounce up on the pavements to circumnavigate the odd uncooperative set of traffic lights, and that's a terror in itself if your eyesight's poor. So in summary, they're not happy but it's happening anyway. On Saturday. [BBC]