Ministers are being urged not to sell electric scooters until they are legal to be driven on roads.
Simon Foster, Police and Crime Commissar for the West Midlands has written to Grant Shapps warning about more deaths and serious injuries and urging him not to crack down.
In his letter, seen by the Mail, he brands the contraptions ‘a menace’ and says they are increasingly becoming a drain on police resources.
It is illegal to ride an e-scooter owned by a private party on the roads.
Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary (pictured), has been urged by the Department of Transportation to ban private sales of electric scooters until they are legal to be used on roads.
Retailers are selling them in record numbers and asking for little information. They even promote them as a convenient way to move around.
Police are forced to arrest hundreds of riders for failing to obey the law and driving without insurance.
Foster stated that the West Midlands Police force alone has recorded more than 400 incidents over the past few years.
Many of these involved young thugs riding dangerously such as on the pavement or using e scooters to commit crimes.
Shakur Amoy Pineck, 20, died in June of severe head injuries. He was riding an e-scooter and collided with a Volkswagen Golf at Wolverhampton.
Simon Foster (pictured), Police and Crime Commissar for the West Midlands has written to the Transport Secretary expressing concern about more deaths and serious injuries and urging him not to crack down
Only escooters on government-backed trials are legal. Users typically pay to rent per hour and licence checks are required as a condition of using the device to ensure safety. The speed limit for the devices is 15.5 mph. They are only allowed on roads and cycle lanes in approximately 50 cities and towns across the nation.
Ministers are still waiting to make a decision about whether to allow private-owned e-scooters to be legalized on the roads. This delay will continue until summer 2022.
However, Foster stated that their sale should be stopped until this decision is made and a new regulatory system is established.
His letter to Mr Shapps said: ‘Clearly the legislation and regulatory regime around the sale and use of private e-scooters is unfit for purpose.
‘In future, privately owned e-scooters need to be licenced, regulated and appropriate health and safety measures put in place.
‘Until we reach this point, we would urge you to ban the sale of private e-scooters so we don’t see further injuries or deaths on our roads.’
It added: ‘As you will be aware, private e-scooters are legally sold and bought, but they are a menace on our roads, pavements and in our parks.
‘They are causing problems for pedestrians, motorists and police; not to mention a considerable health and safety risk for the owners themselves.
Ministers delayed a decision on whether to allow privately owned e-scooters on roads until summer 2022 (stock illustration).
‘It is therefore disappointing to see so many of them being sold to customers who have no place to ride them.’
Mr Foster’s deputy, Assistant Commissioner Tom McNeil, said: ‘It is utter madness that shops up and down the country are selling e-scooters.
‘The government is in a real mess over this issue and seems incapable of doing anything to solve the problem.’
E-scooter users commonly ride on pavements and don’t wear reflective clothing after dark or protective equipment. After riding on pavements, riders may have fallen off or collided with cars.
Retailers reported a surge in sales last year despite the lockdown.
The NHS ambulance trusts have seen an increase in calls for riders who have collided with cars, fallen off their bikes, or left pedestrians with serious injuries from mowing them down on pavements. (stock image).
They typically cost from £350, with high-end models running up to nearly £1,000. They can go up to 70 mph, but their top speed is limited to 15.5 mph.
A Mail investigation earlier this year revealed that hundreds of crimes were committed by e-scooters, including robberies, assaults, and even a drive-by-shooting.
A Department for Transport spokesman said: ‘Anyone concerned with how vendors are advertising them should contact Trading Standards or the Advertising Standards Authority.
‘Ministers recently wrote to the largest retailers reminding them of their legal duty to provide clear information outlining where e-scooters are and are not permitted to be used.’