E-scooters – Know the Facts!
Electric Scooters are known as e-scooters. They are classified as motor vehicles, because they are intended for use on the roads, and therefore the rules of the public highway apply to all of them. For example, if found to be under the influence of alcohol while operating an e-scooter you can be prosecuted as you would if you were driving a car. It is also strongly recommended that riders wear a helmet while using an e-scooter.
The law differs for privately owned e-scooters compared to those that can be hired in a trial area.
Privately owned e-scooters
Privately-owned e-scooters are illegal to use on public roads, cycle lanes and pavements.
The rules for privately owned e-scooters are as follows:
- They cannot be used in any public area.
- They can only be used on private land with the permission of the land owner.
- You can’t insure these.
If you ride a privately owned e-scooter in public you face:
- It being seized - you won't get it back and it will be disposed of accordingly.
- A £300 fine.
- 6 points on your driving licence - if you don't have a valid provisional or full driving licence you will be fined a further £100 and 3 points.
Trial area e-scooters
Currently there are trials running in Stafford and Newcastle-under-Lyme where e-scooters can be hired through operators Ginger (Stafford) and Zwings (Newcastle-under-Lyme). Only e-scooters hired from these companies are legal on roads and cycle ways and their use is restricted to those pilot areas.
The rules for e-scooters in trial areas are as follows:
- To hire an e-scooters in Stafford you need to be aged 18 and have a provisional, full drivers or motorcycle licence. If you hire an e-scooter in Newcastle-under-Lyme you can do so from the age of 16 but you will also need to have your provisional or motorcycle licence in your possession.
- They can only be used on a road or cycle path. They shouldn't be ridden on the pavement.
- They cannot carry more than one person.
- Insurance provided covers scheme areas only.
- You must obey the Highway Code and ride with due care.
- You cannot allow anyone else to use the e-scooter as the insurance only covers the person hiring it.
- You will be prosecuted if you use one under the influence of drink or drugs.
E-scooters should be treated as motor vehicles and if you don't stick to the rules you can receive a fine and points on your licence.