As the rise in popularity of electric or e-scooters continues, Bedfordshire Police is flagging up the laws regarding their use.
During this month’s vulnerable road user campaign (9 – 22 November), police officers will take the opportunity to educate the public about the appropriate use of the vehicles.
E-scooters are only legal to ride on private land with the landowner’s permission or as part of a government trial.
Officers in Bedfordshire will remind people that riding an e-scooter in public when it is not part of an authorised trial is against the law and can result in penalty points, a fine and the vehicle being seized.
It is also illegal to ride a Segway, Go-Ped or powered unicycle on public roads, cycle lanes and pathways as they are not considered roadworthy vehicles.
Chief Inspector Rebecca Rowley-Smith from the Roads Policing Unit for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire, said, “With trials of rented e-scooters taking place around the country, some people are purchasing their own in the mistaken belief they can legally use them on public paths and roads.
“This is not the case and we are finding that otherwise law-abiding citizens are inadvertently breaking the law in this way.
“Some parents are giving them to children to travel to school. It is important to highlight that many e-scooters have a maximum speed of 15.5mph and some are able to exceed this, which can be dangerous for the rider and pedestrians if they are involved in a collision.
“Our focus is engaging with members of the community and making them aware of the law regarding e-scooters. Offenders who knowingly and persistently break the law will be dealt with appropriately.”
Inspector Louise Bates from Bedfordshire Police’s local community policing team said, “E-scooters have become hugely popular within our communities, but it’s important that people know the law surrounding them before purchasing or using one.
“It is illegal to ride an e-scooter in public if it’s not part of an authorised trial and can be very dangerous due to the speeds it can reach.
“We know that there is a lot of confusion surrounding the use of e-scooters so our officers will be going out to engage and educate our communities on this to keep our road users safe.”
For more information on using publicly owned e-scooters please read the Government legislation. Guidance on rented e-scooters used as part of a government trial is available here.