Homeowners have a chance to escape after an e-bike explodes and a house burns down
Ministers are being urged to ban sales of electric scooters until it becomes legal to ride them on the roads.
Simon Foster, Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands, has written to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps warning of more deaths and serious injuries left unchecked.
In his letter, seen by the Mail, he calls the devices a “threat” and says they are increasingly draining police resources.
Private electric scooters are illegal to ride on the roads.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps (pictured) has been urged to ban the sale of private electric scooters until they are legal to use on the roads
Yet retailers are selling them in record numbers with few questions asked and even promoting them as a convenient way to get around.
This means that the police have to stop hundreds of passengers to explain the law to them and potentially arrest them for driving a motor vehicle without insurance or a licence.
Mr Foster said West Midlands Police alone had recorded more than 400 incidents in recent years.
Many of them involved young hoodlums driving dangerously, such as on the sidewalk, or using electric scooters to commit crimes.
A man, Shakur Amoy Pinnock, 20, died of serious head injuries in June after the electric scooter he was riding collided with a Volkswagen Golf in Wolverhampton.
Simon Foster (pictured), Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands, has written to the Transport Secretary warning of more deaths and serious injuries without enforcement
Only electric scooters in government-backed trials, which users typically pay to rent by the minute, are legal and involve license checks and other measures as a condition of use to ensure some level of safety. The devices are limited to 15.5 mph and allowed only on roads or bike paths, not sidewalks, in about 50 cities and towns across the country.
Ministers have delayed deciding whether or not to legalize private electric scooters on the roads until summer 2022.
But Mr Foster said their sale should be banned until that decision, along with a new regulatory regime, is announced.
His letter to Mr Shapps said: ‘It is clear that the legislation and regulatory regime relating to the sale and use of private electric scooters is inadequate.
“In the future, private electric scooters will need to be licensed, regulated and appropriate health and safety measures put in place.
“Until we reach that point, we urge you to ban the sale of private electric scooters so we don’t see any more injuries or deaths on our roads.”
He added: “As you know, private electric scooters are legally sold and bought, but they pose a threat on our roads, sidewalks and in our parks.
“They cause problems for pedestrians, motorists and the police; not to mention a considerable risk to the health and safety of the owners themselves.
“So it’s disappointing to see so many of them being sold to customers who don’t have a place to ride them.”