Whilst some explain electric scooters were legalised for use on British streets 07/2020, this does not apply to every scooter. Hop on an eScotter and take to the road at your own peril; injury and/or legal! E-scooters are classified as ‘powered transporters’. Therefore, they are subject to many legal requirements associated with motorcyles, cars etc.; MOT, tax, licensing and insurance.
- It is illegal to ride them in a public place. This includes roads and pavements.
There are exceptions to this rule:
- You may ride them on private land with the landowner’s permission.
- Rental e-scooters that are part of the Department for Transport’s approved trial such as one in Nottingham, are perfectly legal to ride in specified circumstances.
Note – 07/06/2021: Electric scooters will hit the streets of London as 6 boroughs with between 60 and 150 e-scooters each will be available to rent with a warning ‘PI claims to soar‘.
‘Which?‘ advises ‘Riding an escooter where you shouldn’t could see you hit with a fine and penalty points on your licence’, read more here.
‘Metro‘ carried the headline ‘E-scooter trials blamed for hundreds of injuries and over 1,000 complaints‘, and more recently ‘E-scooter use ‘out of control’ with 1,000,000 set to be on roads by end of year’ (read more here).
No matter where you ride one of these curious contraptions – wear a helmet! ‘Over 50% of those injured in electric scooter accidents were not wearing helmets‘ – read more here.
A word from the wise (not so) … look at the size of a scooter’s wheels. Unlike a bicycle with a wheel diameter over 20 inches (50cm approx.), capable to taking many of our potholes and road-ruts in their stride, an eScooter’s wheel diameter is far smaller, some less than 20cm. The scooter can be brought to an abrupt stop, the rider’s momentum causing a nasty fall!
SwiftyScooters: “It is our opinion that wheel size is the critical factor when designing a scooter that provides a safe and comfortable ride and that is roadworthy“, read more here.