Law change to allow e-scooter riders to travel without wearing a crash helmet is dangerous, lawyer warns
Ministers were yesterday accused of a ‘cavalier disregard’ for road safety after quietly changing the law to exempt electric scooter riders from wearing helmets.
Lawyer Nick Freeman, known as Mr Loophole, said the move was a ‘recipe for disaster’.
It means riders in government-backed trials are exempt until the test period ends in November.
Voorheen, as e-scooters were classed as motor vehicles and fell under road laws, helmets were required.
Ministers were yesterday accused of a ‘cavalier disregard’ for road safety after quietly changing the law to exempt electric scooter riders from wearing helmets. (File image)
Voorheen, as e-scooters were classed as motor vehicles and fell under road laws, helmets were required. (File image)
But ministers amended Motor Cycles (Protective Helmets) Regulations 1998 to exempt e-scooter riders.
Mr Freeman, who specialises in road laws and successfully defended David Beckham and Sir Alex Ferguson, said ministers had ‘shown a cavalier disregard for safety’.
A Transport Department spokesman confirmed the change and admitted guidance states helmets are ‘recommended but not mandatory’.
Mr Freeman added: ‘This government wants to do everything it can to encourage the use of environmentally-friendly forms of transport.
Lawyer Nick Freeman (hierbo), known as Mr Loophole, said the move was a ‘recipe for disaster’
‘In their eagerness to roll out e-scooters they are prepared to compromise on road safety and have shown a cavalier disregard for safety by tweaking the law in such a clandestine way.
‘It’s a recipe for disaster, people are being seriously injured on the roads.’
It comes after the Mail last month revealed how ambulance call-outs to incidents involving e-scooters have shot up by 540 per cent over two years.
Treatment for head injuries has surged as many riders do not wear helmets, with at least nine deaths in the first ten months of this year.
E-scooters can be hired as part of government-backed trials in more than 50 towns and cities across the country.
Only these devices are legal to ride on the roads.
But the government simply recommends wearing a helmet and has not insisted it is mandatory like for other motor vehicle road users.
Privately-owned e-scooters are completely illegal to ride on the roads.