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E-Scooters: Make sure you know the law

People in Devon and Cornwall considering buying an electric scooter - or E-Scooter – this Christmas are being urged to fully understand the law before they do.

E-Scooters: Make sure you know the law

Police and road safety groups have joined forces in the hope of combatting some of the myths about where you can and can’t ride e-scooters.

While they are legally available to purchase, it’s currently against the law to ride a privately owned e-scooter in any public place in the UK.  This includes roads, pavements, parks, town centres or canal towpaths. 

The only place a privately owned e-scooter can be used is on private land.

This is because e-scooters are classified as Personal Light Electric Vehicles (PLEVs) so they are treated as motor vehicles.  As such, if they are used on a road, pavement or public place they are subject to the same legal requirements as any motor vehicle.

Using a ‘motor vehicle’ on a road or other public place without:

  • Insurance – 6 points, £300 fine, seizure of vehicle
  • Licence – penalty points, fine, seizure of vehicle
  • Failing to comply with Construction & Use legislation – ranging from non-endorsable fixed penalty to being reported to court for using in a dangerous condition.
  • Impaired by alcohol/drugs – licence disqualification, fine or penalty points.

MPC Andy Bennett, Road Casualty Reduction Officer with Devon and Cornwall Police, said: “We understand that e-scooters are very tempting for Christmas presents, but we would urge people to fully understand the law first.

“If our officers find anyone using e-scooters in a public place, the scooter will be seized, and the rider reported for any offences.”

“I would also urge anyone using an e-scooter legally – i.e. on private land – to carefully consider their safety before doing so.  All riders should wear a helmet, younger riders particularly, would benefit from additional protective clothing such as knee and elbow pads to minimise injury”

The road safety partnership for Devon and Cornwall, Vision Zero South West, wants to eliminate crashes resulting in fatal and serious injuries on our roads in the next two decades – and the safe use of e-scooters plays an important part in this vision.

Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, is the chair of the Vision Zero South West Partnership.

Commissioner Hernandez said: “The last thing any police officer wants to do is take away a much-loved and expensive gift – that is why we want to make this message clear before Christmas.

“If you think you’ll be able to ride your e-scooter out and about on the roads and streets of Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, you are mistaken.  It is against the law.

“I would specifically urge any parents considering buying an e-scooter for their children to think long and hard about doing so.”