Little Riziah Moazzeny was on her first trip to London. As the young girl has had more than her fair share of bad luck in life, her parents were determined to create some happy memories on the outing.
Defying doctor’s predictions that she would die before birth, ‘miracle baby’ Riziah was born with complex heart defects and survived a heart operation just days later.
Now aged five, she relies on a pacemaker, is awaiting open-heart surgery and has to use a wheelchair.
So her parents, Naomi and Farzam Moazzeny, were determined to make their day-trip to the capital one to remember.
Travelling by train from their home in Chorley, Lancashire, in August, they visited Buckingham Palace before going to nearby St James’s Park to feed the ducks.
Riziah was clutching a bag of nuts to feed the squirrels when suddenly she was hit head-on by a man speeding by on an electric scooter.
Tragedy: Emily Hartridge, left, was killed when she was thrown from her e-scooter
‘She was flipped into the air and fell, landing on different parts of her body including her arms and hips,’ said Mrs Moazzeny a few days later. ‘We feared she could have broken her arm, and she began going blue.’
An ambulance rushed Riziah to hospital, where she was treated for bruises on her arms, legs and hips, and marks on her head, before eventually being discharged.
‘It is a miracle my daughter is here,’ says Mrs Moazzeny, who now wants e-scooters to be made illegal in parks.
Ms Hartridge was on her way to a fertility clinic when she tragically became the first person in the UK to have been involved in a fatal crash on an e-scooter
The presenter was killed after the e-scooter she was riding was involved in a collision with a HGV in Battersea, south west London last year (pictured, the scene of the crash)
Her story is just one of many tales that highlight the increasing danger created by the e-scooters proliferating on the streets of British towns and cities — they now number more than a million.
At least six people have died in accidents involving them since July 2020, and almost 200 riders have been seriously injured.
Emily Hartridge was the first person to die in an e-scooter accident in the UK, in 2019.
The 35-year-old TV presenter was riding in Battersea, South London, when an under-inflated tyre caused her to lose control and she was thrown under a lorry. She died instantly from multiple injuries.
Bruises: Riziah Moazzeny was injured when she was struck by a scooter on a day out
According to the Department of Transport, e-scooters are classed as 'powered transporters' and meet the legal definition of a 'motor vehicle'.
They must therefore meet a number of requirements in order to be used on the road, including having insurance and conforming to 'technical standards.'
As they do not, they are considered illegal to use on roads in Britain.
The Metropolitan Police has also said it is illegal to use e-scooters on the road and riders risk being fined or even having penalty points on their licence.
Riders also risk having their e-scooters seized by police.
The Department of Transport said e-scooters are covered by the 1988 Road Traffic Act, which also includes Segways, hoverboards, go-peds (combustion engine-powered kick scooters), powered unicycles, and u-wheels'.
The ban does not apply to electrically-assisted pedal bicycles.
According to the Department of Transport: 'For motor vehicles to use public roads lawfully, they must meet a number of different requirements. These include insurance; conformity with technical standards and standards of use; payment of vehicle tax, licensing, and registration; driver testing and licensing; and the use of relevant safety equipment.
'If the user of a powered transporter could meet these requirements, it might in principle be lawful for them to use public roads. However, it is likely that they will find it very difficult to comply with all of these requirements, meaning that it would be a criminal offence to use them on the road.'
E-scooters are also banned from using pavements under the 1835 Highway Act. E-scooters can be used on private land with the landowner's permission.
However, since July, you have been able to use them - under certain conditions.
A legal framework governing trials has confirmed that vehicles will be limited to 15mph and will only be allowed on roads, cycle lanes and tracks, but not pavements.
Only last week, the Mail revealed how ambulance call-outs to incidents involving electric scooters have shot up by a horrific 540 per cent in just two years.
Incidents jumped from 75 in 2019 to 480 in the first eight months of 2021, according to figures obtained exclusively by the Mail through Freedom of Information requests.
These included pedestrians who were mown down in the street and e-scooter riders colliding with cars.
The vast majority of injuries have been head traumas to riders, since many of them don’t wear helmets.
It is illegal to use an e-scooter on a public road or pavement in the UK, unless it’s as part of official government-approved and council-run schemes.
These launched in July 2020 and cover more than 40 towns and cities throughout the country; riders typically pay to hire them per minute.
But last week it emerged that more than 130 pedestrians have been injured by electric scooters in the past year.
Given these startling figures, there are now calls to halt these trials early.
Mother-of-two Frances Bowler knows all too well how dangerous the speeding vehicles can be.
The 59-year-old suffered an agonising injury in a hit-and-run accident earlier this year when a passing e-scooter struck her, ripping open her ankle and slicing through her Achilles’ tendon.
The retired chartered accountant and her husband, Tony, 61, a retired water engineer, were in London to meet up with daughters Rebecca, 31, and Hannah, 26, to celebrate the elder’s birthday on March 29.
The family had just finished a picnic, and were walking on the pavement on Oxford Street when Mrs Bowler was struck from behind by a speeding e-scooter.
‘The scooter had a metal plate in the front of it which smashed into my leg, leaving a four-inch cut,’ she says.
‘Unfortunately, none of us realised at the time how serious it was — even though there was an awful lot of blood. The rider, who looked as though he was about 20 years old, was unhurt and he just started speeding off. He never even checked to see how I was.’
Four days after the accident, Mrs Bowler still couldn’t walk properly, and six weeks after that an MRI scan confirmed