What is an E-Scooter?

by PCSO Andy Smith
Published: Last Updated on

by PCSO Andy Smith 5520

Electrical scooters (also known as e-scooters) come under the category of ‘powered transporters’. This covers a range of personal transport devices which are powered by a motor.

E-scooters are classed as motor vehicles under the Road Traffic Act 1988. This means the rules that apply to motor vehicles, also apply to e-scooters including the need to have a licence, insurance and tax.

It’s not currently possible to get insurance for privately owned e-scooters, which means it’s illegal to use them on the road or in public spaces. If you’re using a private e-scooter you risk the vehicle being seized under S.165 Road Traffic Act 1988 for no insurance.

If you cause serious harm to another person whilst riding an e-scooter the incident will be investigated in the same way it would if you were riding a motorcycle or driving a car.

Rental e-scooter trials

Trials of rental e-scooters are taking place in the UK. Anyone using a rental e-scooter on a public road or other public space, has to comply with the relevant road traffic legislation or they face potential prosecution.

To rent an e-scooter you must:
• be at least 16 years old.
• hold the correct driving licence (category Q or P/M).
• create an account with the rental company.

E-scooters can only be used in approved areas.

Legal use of an e-scooter

It’s legal to use an e-scooter on private land with the permission of the landowner.

Penalties and offences

If you don’t have a licence, or the correct licence, or are riding without insurance you could face a Fixed Penalty notice:
• with a £300 fine and six penalty points on your licence for having no insurance.
• up to £100 fine and three to six penalty points for riding without the correct licence.

You could also be committing an offence if you’re caught:

• riding on a pavement: Fixed Penalty Notice and possible £50 fine.
• using a mobile phone while riding; £100 and six penalty points.
• riding through red lights: Fixed Penalty Notice, £100 fine and possible penalty points.
• drink driving: the same as if you were driving a car; you could face court-imposed fines, a driving ban and possible imprisonment.

If you’re using an e-scooter in public in an antisocial manner, you can also risk the e-scooter being seized under section 59 of the Police Reform Act.

When riding an e-scooter, we would always recommend wearing safety_ protection such as a helmet and keeping to the speed limit.

PCSO Andy Smith
Latest posts by PCSO Andy Smith (see all)

Related Posts

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Cookies Read More