Are electric scooters illegal?

Are electric scooters illegal?

YOU’RE bound to have seen people zooming past on an electric scooter recently as they become ever more popular.

You often see them around bigger towns and cities – but are they illegal to use?

Alamy

We explain whether it’s illegal to use an electric scooter or not[/caption]

It comes as places including London and Newcastle have previously trialled e-scooters to see whether they could become a permanent feature.

The government has faced pressure to legalise them on roads and cycle lanes as use of the scooters has soared across the country.

But we explain what the law is now – and what you need to know about using them.

Are electric scooters illegal?

Electric scooters are only illegal if you break the government’s rules on how to use them.

You can only use one on a public road and on cycle lanes if you rent one from a government-approved scheme.

You can’t use them on a footpath or pavement though.

There are a number of companies who are allowed to rent out scooters in places across the country where trials are taking place.


Approved companies include: Lime, Neuron, Dott, TIER and Voi – but it’s best to check on your local council’s website who the approved company in your area is for more information.

To ride on one, you must have the category Q entitlement on your driving licence.

This means that you are qualified to drive two-wheeled and three-wheeled vehicles without pedals no faster than 15.5mph.

Riding an electric scooter in a public area is illegal if it’s not been rented out from one of these providers – for example, if you’ve bought your own one.

If you have your own e-scooter, you can only ride it on private land.

Can I get a fine if I break the rules?

You can be fined if you break these e-scooter rules.

The Metropolitan Police says that you can be fined a maximum of £300 if you break the rules – and up to six points on your licence.

You could get a £100 fine for failing to provide a driving licence, riding through a red light or using your mobile phone while riding.

While you could be slapped with a £50 fine for driving on the pavement or footpath.

Where are trials taking place?

Here is the list of locations where e-scooters are being trialled:

  • Bournemouth and Poole
  • Buckinghamshire (Aylesbury, High Wycombe and Princes Risborough)
  • Cambridge
  • Cheshire West and Chester (Chester)
  • Copeland (Whitehaven)
  • Derby
  • Essex (Basildon, Braintree, Brentwood, Chelmsford, Colchester and Clacton)
  • Gloucestershire (Cheltenham and Gloucester)
  • Great Yarmouth
  • Kent (Canterbury)
  • Liverpool
  • London (participating boroughs)
  • Milton Keynes
  • Newcastle
  • North and West Northamptonshire (Northampton, Kettering, Corby and Wellingborough)
  • North Devon (Barnstaple)
  • North Lincolnshire (Scunthorpe)
  • Norwich
  • Nottingham
  • Oxfordshire (Oxford)
  • Redditch
  • Rochdale
  • Salford
  • Slough
  • Solent (Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton)
  • Somerset West (Taunton and Minehead)
  • South Somerset (Yeovil, Chard and Crewkerne)
  • Sunderland
  • Tees Valley (Hartlepool and Middlesbrough)
  • West Midlands (Birmingham, Coventry and Sandwell)
  • West of England Combined Authority (Bristol and Bath)
  • York

Are they safe to use?

Concerns have been raised about how safe e-scooters actually are.

They were branded “death traps” by a Met Police chief after it was revealed crashes had soared by 700% since 2018.

The first recorded death of a person to die in an e-scooter crash was  TV presenter and YouTube star Emily Hartridge in 2019.

Other serious accidents have been reported too.

A three-year-old boy was seriously injured after being hit by an e-scooter while walking with his gran in London.

While a three-year old girl suffered life-changing injuries after being hit by one in the park.

While it’s not illegal to not wear a helmet or safety gear, it’s recommended so you can better protect yourself if you’re involved in an accident.

 

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