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The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, has joined up with the world’s largest breeder and trainer of Guide Dogs, to call for a ban on the sale of private e-scooters, until proper government regulation is in place.

Mr Foster and the organisation, Guide Dogs, share concerns over the number of people who currently own and ride e-scooters illegally and dangerously.  

They can be bought from high street shops, but are only supposed to be ridden on private land, with the owners’ permission. However, many owners choose to flout the law and ride them on roads and pavements at speed, putting themselves and pedestrians at risk.

There have been dozens of accidents in the West Midlands, involving e-scooters and the near silent modes of transport, are an increasing menace to people with sight loss who cannot always see or hear them coming.

Now the PCC and Guide Dogs are demanding the government ban the sale of private e-scooters, until it has passed a new law to make them safer, including banning them in pedestrian areas, ensuring the devices make sufficient noise so they can be heard, as well as seen, and capping speed limits.

Guide Dogs has done research and found three quarters of people with sight loss, who have encountered an e-scooter, have had a negative experience and some have changed their regular routes or refuse to leave home alone.

The government promised it would regulate privately owned e-scooters, but has since decided to delay any changes.

“We cannot understand why the government is failing to act decisively, when it comes to regulating dangerous e-scooters,” said West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster.

“It is abundantly clear, that if you do not stop people buying and riding electric scooters, that can travel up to 70mph, then collisions will happen and some will be extremely serious.”

Alexandra Jones is the Policy and Campaigns Manager at Guide Dogs, she said: “The illegal use of private e-scooters has had a huge, negative impact on people with sight loss.

“E-scooters are heavy, powerful, silent and can reach high speeds. These characteristics, combined with the fact they are often driven on pavements, means they can have severe consequences for people with sight loss. 

“Guide Dogs are pleased to be working with the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner to encourage people not to buy illegal private e-scooters until the government has passed new regulation, to help keep riders and pedestrians safe, including those with sight loss.”

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