A man who was injured by an e-scooter rider who ran over his foot and "gouged out the flesh" on his leg says the Birmingham trial scheme should be abandoned. Operator Voi said it would support action against the rider responsible, but Timothy Scholes said the incident made him realise "just how potentially dangerous e-scooters are".
Birmingham Live reports that Scholes was walking on a narrow stretch of pavement on Pritchatts Road in Edgbaston when the incident took place at around 5.15pm on Tuesday April 27.
Two 20-something men on e-scooters came up behind him and one sounded a bell.
The two riders stopped because of the narrow gap and Scholes said he touched the handlebars of one to make sure he didn't crash into him.
He asked them why they were riding on the pavement when this was not permitted.
The other rider then set off and rode over his foot at about 1mph.
"When the second rider set off, he rode over my foot," said Scholes. "But he also struck my shin with his scooter and that is what took a gouge out of my flesh.
"He would have realised he had run over my foot but wouldn't have known what had happened to my leg."
Scholes went to A&E where the gash was cleaned and dressed with 20 steri-strips.
"They measured the wound as being 10cm by 6cm and I estimate it was 0.5 cm deep."
Voi emailed Scholes to say: "We fully support you in taking action against those involved in this incident and would like to reiterate that we will cooperate with the police if they would like to request further information from us."
The firm also put him in touch with its insurance partner and said it thought the riders responsible had been identified.
"Once it is confirmed if these users were involved and breached our terms and conditions, we may permanently deactivate their Voi account so that they can no longer access our services.”
A verdict on the ongoing e-scooter trials that are taking place in around 50 towns and cities up and down the country has been pushed back until March of next year with the Government keen to see how an upcoming scheme in London pans out before potentially changing leglisation.
However, the National Federation of the Blind of the UK (NFBUK) believes the trials should be called off before then.
Campaigner Sarah Gayton said: “It does not matter what technology the e-scooter companies claim they have to protect the public, it is clear that vulnerable pedestrians' safety is being put at risk due to how they are being ridden and left on the pavements.”
"If this can happen to me at 1mph, what about older people like my 88-year-old mother?" he said. "I am worried for people like her.
"Every time I challenge a Voi rider about why they are on the pavement, they tell me that's where they think they should be.
"Then you get younger riders also riding in cavalier fashion because that's what younger people do – they think they're invincible even when they haven't been drinking."
Voi said: "Safety is a top priority for Voi, and we take these situations extremely seriously. We have been in touch with Mr Scholes following his report and we are investigating internally so appropriate action can be taken.
"Voi provides clear and visible information to its users stating that riding on pavements is not allowed.
"We have a three-strike policy, through which reported incidents of anti-social behaviour and misuse will lead to warnings, fines and even permanent bans from using our service.
"We are also looking at other ways to deter users from riding on pavements; for instance, we are currently doing a pilot with Luna which will allow our e-scooters to detect pedestrians in real-time to tackle sidewalk riding.”