Nottingham is one of around 30 cities taking part in an e-scooter trial, to test new technology and offer people a greener way to cover short journeys around the city. The scooters have been on our streets for just over a year while most riders do so responsibly, there have been concerns raised about safety.
We’re continuing to work closely with operator, Wind Mobility to address these, but we need people to use them responsibly too to keep themselves and others safe, so we’re starting off the week with some tips when riding:
1 – Ride on the road
It is illegal for e-scooters to be used on the pavement as they are road vehicles. This is for the safety of pedestrians. Where possible, use the e-scooters on cycle paths, if there aren’t any, you must ride on the road. To deter users from breaking the rules, a three-strike system has been introduced to stop repeat offenders. The first strike is a warning, the second is a week ban, three strikes – you’re out! The user will be permanently banned from using Nottingham’s e-scooters.
2 – Do not use e-scooters after drinking alcohol or taking drugs
Using the e-scooters on drugs or alcohol is a criminal offence. Other road users will be put at risk as you will have slower reaction times and less control over yourself. You may lose your licence, even your provisional, and get fined.
3 – Park safely
The e-scooters should be parked in the sprayed bays on the floor in the parking zones. If there isn’t a bay, make sure the scooter is not blocking the path to allow for the people with visual impairments, wheelchairs, and prams to pass by safely. A £7.50 fine has been introduced for users parking incorrectly or outside of parking zones.
4 – Wear a helmet
Helmets are provided on the front of Wind’s e-scooters. It is advised for users to wear one to keep themselves safe especially as e-scooters must be used on the road (or cycle lane). They protect users for getting serious head injuries, they could save your life!
5 – Check e-scooter for wear and tear
Although the e-scooters are checked regularly by Wind’s patrollers, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of doing your own checks. Before you ride, check to make sure the breaks, accelerator, lights, and tyres are working as well as the handlebar is correctly aligned. If there are any issues, report it via the app and the Wind team will be notified to take it for repair.
6 – Be careful of winter surroundings
As we move into winter, slippery conditions become more common. Wet leaves, ice and the tram tracks can cause the e-scooters to slip so be careful when using them. Wear gloves to stop your hands from getting cold and enclosed shoes. If conditions get too dangerous – for example, heavy snow, all the e-scooters will be shut down to make sure no accidents occur.
7 – Use the bells and lights
As the clocks have gone back, the days are getting shorter. Make sure lights are working and bells are being used to let other road users know of your presence on an e-scooter. Wear light clothing or reflective wear similar to on a bike can help you stand out.
8 – One person per scooter
E-scooters are made to have one person on at a time. Having more than one can endanger both passengers, as they are to be on the road, this could be fatal. The e-scooters will not be able to perform at full power and as there is only one helmet safety is further compromised. Wind have introduced number plates on the back of the vehicles to make it easier to locate offenders. This will result in the tree-strike rule coming into play.
9 – Follow the rules of the road
It is advised for users that only hold a provisional licence to look up the highway code and road signs to make sure they are fully aware of how to conduct themselves on the roads. E-scooter users should act similarly to cyclists with regards to giving way to pedestrians, using roundabouts and turning right.
10 – You must be 16 years old to ride
Riding under the age of 16 is illegal. The account holder will be banned if someone under 16 is using one of the e-scooters and possibly fined.