Advice on e-scooter usage
The Department for Transport announced new legislation on 4 July which allowed for trials to take place of rental electric scooters, also known as e-scooters, in the UK.
This will most likely come to London in the spring of 2021.
E-scooters come under the category of “powered transporters”. This also covers a range of other personal transport devices which are powered by a motor.
“Powered transporters” fall within the legal definition of a motor vehicle under the Road Traffic Act 1988. Therefore, the rules that apply to motor vehicles, also apply to e-scooters.
As a motor vehicle, they must comply with various pieces of Road Traffic Legislation, including but not limited to:
- driving with a licence
- driving/riding with insurance
- driving/riding other than on a road
- need to be taxed
Any person who uses an e-scooter on a public road or other public space, must comply with the relevant Road Traffic Legislation or they face potential prosecution.
Legal use of an e-scooter
It is legal to use an e-scooter:
- on private land with the permission of the land owner
- when the trial comes in, it will be legal to use the rental e-scooters, from specific companies on the road
Enforcement focused on private e-scooters
Prior to and during the trial, enforcement will be focused on private e-scooters. The most appropriate action for the circumstances will be given, these include:
- a Fixed Penalty Notice for no insurance, with a £300 fine and six penalty points
- a Fixed Penalty Notice for no driving licence, up to £1000 fine and three-six penalty points
Police will also take action against rider behaviour, whether private or rental. Offences could include:
- riding on the footway: Fixed Penalty Notice and possible £50 fine
- using a mobile phone: £100 and six penalty points
- riding through red lights: Fixed Penalty Notice, £100 fine and possible penalty points
- drink driving offences: As with driving cars; court imposed fines, driving ban and possible imprisonment
We would always recommend to wear safety protection such as a helmet when riding these vehicles, and to keep to the speed limit.