With e-scooters very much in the news at present, my recent long weekend in Warsaw presented me with the perfect opportunity to try one out for myself.
It’s fair to say that the e-scooters were everywhere. Corralled every morning at major intersections having been recharged overnight.
There are a number of different operators to choose from, and I opted for Lime, for no other reason than the stand-out colour! I quickly downloaded the App and I was ready to go.
I was however, rather apprehensive having heard the horror stories, especially as I’m a cyclist with dodgy balance.
So, I chose a sparsely populated area away from roads for my trial run. Yes, I was wobbly, but I did grow in confidence, though I never felt safe enough to venture into more crowded areas.
The machines have a top speed of 27 km/h which I came close to, but with rudimentary brakes it did not feel wise to push things further, and boy are they heavy.
Having been used to foot-powered micro-scooters, the e-scooters were a serious bit of kit. I wouldn’t want to be in a collision with one of those at 5 km/h let alone 27.
Whilst e-scooters are well suited to Warsaw’s wide and flat pavements, as a pedestrian I was always on the lookout for those who careered left and right, and not a helmet in sight.
It’s fair to say that even if legalised I will not be climbing back on board even if dedicated, cordoned off e-scooter lanes are introduced. Yes, they are fun and convenient, but I value my safety and that of others.
On a positive note I was impressed by parking discipline. Rather than seeing e-scooters abandoned and obstructing the pavements, the vast majority were well parked out of the way. No doubt the requirement to photograph the e-scooter at the end of your ride helps in this regard!
To find out where IAM RoadSmart stands on the issue of e-scooters click here.
By Mike Quinton, IAM RoadSmart Chief Executive Officer