Electric car trip hazard who is responsible?

27 Jan 2008
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Llanfair Caereinion, Nr Welshpool
United Kingdom
I walked out of a personal door and tripped on an EV cable of a car being charged, I regained balance without falling over, but had I been injured who would be responsible?

The cable clearly belongs to car, and has been put there by one assumes the driver, there is public access and road maintained by council, the Podpoint charge point is maintained by Podpoint and they collect the money, but the building I walked out of is railway premises and they provide the power to the Podpoint.

There is no street lighting although the railway does have some lights on 24/7, and the charge points are next to the disabled parking so it is reasonable to expect it to be used by the infirm.

It seems many EV charge point leave extra room, seems like they think EV users need it, but this in turn means on a car park it encourages people to walk past the electric cars and vans.

They tend to be placed at shop entrances
so are where many people walk.
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if its a defined walking route its there fault
if its a public area then its there responsibility to mark any hazards
if its anywhere you shouldnt really be but quite open they still have a duty off care but your case is weaker
is the cable an actual trip hazard in the periphery or in the main walking area is there any warning notices ??
you should never have cables on the main walking area even with shielded ramped capping as that means bad planning
The personal door is exiting onto the white chequered area, because only two non railway business past the charge point not many walk on that side of the road, but the building is being used more and more, and few weeks ago one bay had a 16 gauge railway running in it, which clearly means the general public do walk past the cars on charge.

Until I tripped on a cable left looped I had not even thought about it. But it does seem drivers of electric cars are considered as disabled with extra room and close to buildings, I noted on a motorway services it was the same, EV charging point right by the building, I think mainly as shorter supply cables, but result is many people are walking past them.

It is only a matter of time before some on trips on a cable, and I would not like my favourite charity to be the one who has claims against them.
i suppose the best solution would be a short handrail between wall at the door and around where the cars front wheel is and perhaps black and yellow hatched lines on the ground covering the full reach off the cable and matching wasp stripes on the cable to draw your attention as somewhere you should avoid or take extra care but that relies on cars having striped cables that i am sure would get complaints in streets around the country as looking messy and not blending in :eek:
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Something I wondered, are the cables locked?
If not then might we at some point see a spate of them being removed because they were causing a trip hazard? (I bet they are not cheap).

A quick google suggests that this is already the case because many are not well secured.

Anyhoo, my neighbour had her EV people carrier 1/2 on the pavement recently, leaving an 18" gap so no prams can pass and the cable coming out of a top window.
It was absolutely a trip hazard.

Who would you report trip hazards like this too?
How many people are going to get told not to do it this way if there is no one telling them so?
We have had caravans with electric hook up for years, however they due to fire regulations have far more distance between them and from them to a building, so walking mid way between caravans even at night one is unlikely to trip on a lead, and at 25 meters and 2.5 mm² three core cable even if one does touch the lead there is normally enough give so it does not cause loss of balance.

The main problem is density and location, if placed at furthest point to building against a boundary fence or wall no one is likely to be walking where the cables are.

The place does get busy upload_2021-10-31_10-43-55.png with some small heavy vehicles which could easy damage trailing cables, but to install the charge point away from traffic would cost a lot of money even when there is the space. The place selected was very close to the incoming three phase supply which was hardly used so no problem supplying two 22 kW charge points. And it seems that was main reason for location, not keeping it away from where it was likely to be a trip hazard, and the charge point is not a trip hazard, it is the leads connecting the charge point, which belong to the vehicle being charged.

But it seems strange we do not use mains electric grass mowers or hedge cutters because the cables could cause a trip hazard to general public, either battery powered or petrol, so no wandering leads.

But the problem is not only where I work, it seems there are many electric vehicle charge points springing up and unlike my EV DSC_4982_tonemapped.jpg where if it needs the battery charging I remove battery and take it to be charged, car users have wandering leads. And with a 12 Ah 48 volt battery and a range of less than 100 miles more need for me to charge the battery when out than for car users. I can with hills of Wales discharge battery with a 25 mile ride. And yes there are places I can charge it, Morrisons Cafe for example. As yet only when on holiday when I charged it in my hotel room, have I charged it anywhere other than at home.

In the early days of the charge point is question it was hardly used, so no one saw a problem, but next charging point only just over 2 miles away but only 7 kW and after that it's some 15 miles over hills so it is now getting busy, as there are so few.
Oh these are the same people who should ensure stiles are usable? I would not hold your breath around here.

I had problems with walk ways and mobility scooters and wheel chairs, mother was an amputee, I could not take her out on a Thursday due to bins on the path, they were there due to the council deciding they would do kerbside collections, before the collection in the main path was passable, but once connection was done there were wheelie bins everywhere.

Also cars parked at drop pavement points, so could not cross roads or go around parked cars, a pram may be light enough to get it up/down kerbs, but an electric wheel chair is really heavy, result was had to use the road, with all the dangers as a result.

On moving here road too steep for mobility scooter, and it seems most houses have turned their garage into a room, can't really blame them, drives are too steep to get cars in and out of garage, I can get my 4x4 to parking area of my house, but not the Jag, it is off the road, but blocks out light into kitchen.

But even in this Rural back water, many cars are parked on the road, so it would need a communal car park to get cars off the road, and clearly then it would need public charge points not private as not close enough to house.
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a door for a person to go through

unlike the main garage door, or engine shed door, which is for a vehicle to go through.

not all garages have a personal door.
a door for a person to go through

unlike the main garage door, or engine shed door, which is for a vehicle to go through.

not all garages have a personal door.
Oh personnel door? , personal door would indicate sole use by one person.
I've seen it called a "personal door" in estate agents and garage literature.
OK it was a personnel door, but question remains, under HSE rules if one sees a danger one must report it in writing to the person responsible, but clearly to do that you need to know the person responsible.

I have never tried to unplug a EV on charge, and have no intention of trying, however where the cable is left so clearly a trip hazard what is the correct procedure? And there is also is it considered a trip hazard to start with?

I can't see anything the building owners can do to get rid of the problem, and neither can I see anything the charge point owners can do, other than put the point some where else. Which is unreasonable.

However the car owner also has little he can do, he can make the cable as neat as possible and ensure no loops, but each car seem to have a different point where the cable plugs into the car, from where one would expect a fuel filler to under front badge. So it varies as to where it sticks out, so with some cars very little trip hazard and others a very real trip hazard.

If I had wanted to run a cable outside I would use a cover likely like this
but even carpet over the cable will ensure it is held to the ground so unlikely for anyone to trip on it. And if I failed to make safe would expect the safety officer to pick me up about it.

I simply can't see why I should get told off for not using some thing to stop trips, but it is OK for an EV driver not to use them.
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