So, it seems like lockdown has been the perfect excuse for those cheeky MPs to sneak a few new rules and regulations through while nobody is paying attention.
There is bad news if you live in Wales, where the parliament is dropping the speed limit down to 20mph for most urban areas. The policy, which is being rushed through for implementation by 2023, puts these speed restrictions into the hands of the national government, rather than what would otherwise be a local government decision.
While of course we definitely welcome safe driving, we do feel that these zones are applied rather haphazardly and sometimes needlessly, where a 30mph limit would be fine. It remains to be seen if the Welsh implementation on a national scale will be better or worse than has been managed in England.
And talking of haphazard, another new law that has gone through in England this weekend is one that makes electric scooters now a road-legal vehicle. Despite being responsible for a number of deaths, they have become quite commonplace on the roads and pavements of urban cities. But, with no proficient test, no identification much as a number plate and no requirement for safety equipment, such as a helmet.
The scooters, which are electric-powered, are currently subject to no strict regulations for their use, meaning that they can be used on and off the roads, in and out of cycle lanes and create a silent and potentially deadly hazard for other road users. For example, currently, if an electric scooter hits your car, there is no way for you to trace the scooter owner. If you don’t see one nipping in and out of cars and hit it, guess who will likely be to blame? Yes, that’s right, the blame will naturally fall on the driver unless you are able to prove you were driving responsibly (maybe now is the time to get a dashcam if you don’t have one already).
We understand that that particular rule has been rushed through as a result of COVID-19, to try and get people back commuting without the need for public transport, but it feels like very little thought has been given to it. Helmets should be mandatory, as should a license plate and insurance and a strict outline of where it can and cannot be ridden. If it’s the case for mopeds, bike scooters and other electric vehicles, it should be for electric scooters too.
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