Electric Scooters – Not Mobility Scooters

Becoming extremely popular, now spotted in and around Whittlesey recently.
First report death a few days ago and I am grateful to NHW Secretary Robin Sutton for the following information.

Electric scooters are classed as Personal Light electric Vehicles and can only be used on private land/property. They can be used on a pavement only to park (odd little quirk in the law).
In other countries laws permit their use more  widely and they  can be hired from companies like Lime. It is becoming an incredibly popular urban transportation method.

As the law stands, riding an e-scooter on the pavement is an offence against the Highway Act of 1835, while riding one on the road is an offence against the Road Traffic Act 1988 unless you have a driving licence, insurance, helmet, road tax and a registration plate – something the DVLA refuses to provide for “un-roadworthy” vehicles. The situation is under review by the Department of Transport as the laws are out of date and conflict with the efforts for a cleaner environment.

There is a very strong lobby from scooter hire companies who are backed by millions of pounds of investment. It is clear that we are now lagging behind many other countries where electric scooters are legal (and regulated). E-scooters, e-bikes, e-mopeds and e-skateboards are increasingly common in cities where they are seen as a green and convenient form of transport by many.

In reality they are massively increasing and I suspect that the law will change possibly having some kind of licence and regulation for on the road use. A report on Urban Mobility, due out soon, will include issues related to self-driving cars, car and bike sharing, drones and internet-connected vehicles, as well as e-scooters and will start the process of law change. The law is currently rarely enforced where they are used sensibly but there have been people killed by them and a number of accidents globally, in one case in the UK a 15 year old had six points on his driving licence in advance of it being issued but he was being especially reckless.

To give a little perspective mobility scooters were involved in 260 accidents of which 14 were fatal and 61 were serious in 2016. Next year all police forces will have to report on their mobility scooter statistics which will give a clearer picture. There appears to be little understanding over the which type can be used on the road and which are allowed on the pavement.

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