Councils and police urge road users to help keep each other safe while on the roads
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People in Northamptonshire are being asked to look out for each other while using the roads in a new road safety campaign.
Northamptonshire Police, North and West Northamptonshire Councils and e-scooter company Voi have launched a campaign together to raise awareness of the rules of the road for e-scooters and e-bikes.
The key aim of the campaign is to ensure everyone using the roads know what to do in order to remain alert at junctions and roundabouts.
There have been nearly 5.5 million journeys on Voi e-scooters since the e-scooter trials started three years ago - and most are completed without any problems.
Voi users must complete online training when signing up to the app which covers regulations for using e-scooters and e-bikes including safety requirements. This is supported by recent ongoing in-person safety training in the county.
However, there have been some accidents in Northamptonshire, prompting the launch of the campaign.
Stuart Johnson, who broke his leg in four places after he was knocked off an e-scooter by a delivery driver turning left, in Northampton in January this year, said: “I welcome this campaign and hope it will prevent further accidents like mine.
“E-scooters are still a relatively new form of transport, but I do believe they’re here to stay. Improvements to the E scooter and its technology are continuously being made and introduced, to improve the riders safety.
“However, I strongly believe a major cause of road accidents relate to general road users and a lack of particular awareness. For me it’s essential that the general perception of the hazard is improved.
“I sincerely hope through this campaign that going forward we all learn to share the road more safely with each other.”
Safer Roads Team Manager Matt O’Connell said: “The Voi e-scooters have been in the county for nearly three years now and offer a greener, more sustainable way to travel.
“Since they launched in 2020, we have worked closely with Voi on e-scooter safety and continue to have regular meetings with them to identify and manage any issues.
“We wholeheartedly back this campaign as it’s really important for drivers to be aware that they now share the roads with e-scooter riders who are vulnerable road users.
“This means ensuring that a driver is alert and aware of their surroundings, that they give e-scooters plenty of space when passing and to watch out for them at junctions.
“Similarly, this campaign is also targeted at e-scooter riders who need to ensure they are also riding sensibly – not on the pavement, at safe speeds and fully aware of their surroundings.”
Cllr Matt Binley, North Northamptonshire Council’s Executive Member for Highways, Travel and Assets, said: “Since the e-scooter trials were launched, they have gone from strength to strength with more people using Voi’s e-scooters to travel around our towns.
“We are always working with Voi to improve safety, but we also need everyone’s help and with more journeys taking place on e-scooters, it is important that we all think and are safe when out and about, including drivers, riders, pedestrians and other road users.”
Matthew Pencharz, head of public policy for Voi UK, Ireland and France, said: “E-scooters are designed to be ridden on the roads - it’s illegal to ride an e-scooter on the pavement.
“It’s important for drivers and riders to be respectful of one another and to remember that we all share the road together.
“E-scooters are a safe, affordable and convenient form of transport which don’t cause congestion and air pollution - and we hope this campaign will make them safer still.”
Find out more about the campaign by following the hashtag #WeShareTheRoad on social media.