E-scooters – what are the rules?

E-scooters, or electric scooters, are growing in popularity but there is a lot of confusion around where they can be used.

A privately owned e-scooter can only legally be used on private land and with the permission of the land owner.

In legislation, an e-scooter is classed as a powered transporter and are treated as a motor vehicle and so fall under the Road Traffic Act. This means that they are subject to all the same legal requirements as motor vehicles; MOT, tax, licensing, insurance and specific construction regulations.

As e-scooters can’t currently meet these requirements, riding a privately-owned e-scooter on a public road, pavement or other public area is a road traffic offence.

What happens if I ride my scooter in a public place?

Any person who uses a powered transporter on a public road, pavement or other prohibited space is committing a criminal offence and can be prosecuted. 

Some of the potential offences committed can include driving without a valid licence and driving without insurance.  The penalty for driving without insurance is a fine of £300 and up to 6 points on your driving licence if you have one. Your e-scooter may also be seized under section 165 of the Road Traffic Act for being used without insurance.

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

For the avoidance of doubt, a public place includes recreation grounds, parks, church yards etc

Any person riding an e-scooter where it is not permitted, may be reported to the Police.

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