For many years, the Government and other groups have been planning a way to reduce the number of cars on our roads to promote healthier living and better air to breathe, and with the current pandemic, we’ve seen what environmental benefits can be reaped from this reduction. Additionally, the lockdown has turbo-boosted the conversation around Personal Light Electric Vehicles (PLEVs), such as E-scooters, being deemed legal on our roads to reduce carbon emissions.
However, while the number of cyclists on our roads has increased, so has the risk to life. Cyclists are 50% more likely to be injured during their commute compared to their bus or car-going peers.
So, what things should we know before we get on a bike or an E-scooter to avoid injury or road traffic accidents?
- You must stop at red lights
- Your bike must be fitted with working front and back lights for times before and after sunset and sunrise, the same goes for bike reflectors
- Your brakes must be in full working order
- You must not cycle under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Footpaths and pavements can cause a few grey areas but, for the most part, you cannot cycle on “any footpath or causeway by the side of any road made or set apart for the use or accommodation of foot passengers.” Visit this website for more information on pavement cycling laws.
However, there are a few myths that come with cycling too:
- You do not have to wear a helmet, while advised, wearing a helmet is not a legal requirement, the same goes for high visibility clothing
- The use of cycle lanes is not compulsory
- Riding in the middle of lane or in the ‘primary position’ is allowed and is sometimes the best option for safety and ensuring you are visible to traffic
As mentioned, E-scooters aren’t yet legal on our roads. They can only be ridden on private property but are banned anywhere else and being caught on one elsewhere could land you a hefty fine.
But, in the coming years this law may change. As the government comes under increased pressure to make greener transport options readily available, the E-scooter could be a favoured choice, with many calling for the vehicles to be regulated under the same laws as bicycles on roads. Discussions suggest that PLEVs may go one step ahead of the bicycle and be treated similarly to cars, needed servicing and MOT certification.
There are many things to consider and implement if you are thinking about swapping from the car to the bicycle and perhaps, in the near-future, the E-scooter. It is important that all alternative transport users keep up to date and implement all legal requirements when it comes to travel to steer clear of fines, cautions and avoidable injury.
If you have been involved in a Road Traffic Accident or been the victim of personal injury and it wasn’t your fault,, Lysander Law have a team of experts on hand who will provide you with a personalised service to your claim. Contact us for more information.