ELECTRIC scooter injuries were on the rise in South Wales last year, even though the gadgets are still illegal to use in public places.

The rise in crash injuries involving the vehicles, also known as e-scooters, reveals "real life" frequent use of the vehicles is getting ahead of e-scooter trials and legislation, the RAC Foundation said.

South Wales Police recorded 22 e-scooter casualties last year, up from 17 in 2021 and five in 2020.

The area follows the overall trend across Britain, where e-scooter injuries have more than tripled in the past three years.

E-scooters have become a common sight and are legal to own – with high-street retailers selling the vehicles for a few hundred pounds – but their use is not permitted in public places like on roads and pavements.

Trials of rental e-scooters on roads in dozens of towns and cities across England are ongoing, but no such schemes are in place in Wales, and the only place where e-scooters can be ridden legally here is on private land with the landowner’s permission.

An increase in injuries in South Wales follows the overall trend across Great Britain, where there is an ever-rising number of e-scooter casualties.

Last year, there was a total of 1,458 casualties involving e-scooters – up slightly from 1,434 in 2021 and a leap from 484 in 2020.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: "As the e-scooter trials rumble on these figures show that the vehicles are in frequent use – and apparently all-too frequent collisions – across the whole country. Real life is very quickly getting ahead of legislation."

He added: "As ministers ponder the future of these devices it is important councils are better funded to keep highway surfaces up to scratch so all road users – not least those on two wheels – don’t fall foul of the rash of potholes which remain far too common."

The statistics also show there were 12 deaths as a result of e-scooter collisions. Of them, 11 were e-scooter users and one was a pedestrian.

Additionally, the figures reveal e-scooter users made up the majority of those severely or slightly injured with 1,106 hurt (76%), while 233 pedestrians were injured (16%).

The remainder were cyclists, or occupants of other motor vehicles.

A spokesperson for the UK Government’s Department for Transport said: "Safety is at the heart of our e-scooter trials and privately-owned e-scooters remain illegal to use on the road."

Additional reporting by Sonja Tutty, data reporter for the Radar news service.