The popularity of electric scooters in the UK is growing but there is a lack of knowledge surrounding current law. The Road Traffic Act of 1988 and the Highway Act of 1835 presently states it is illegal to use an electronic scooter either on a public road or pavement. Emma Grewock of Paul Robinson Solicitors explains:
“There is mounting pressure for the Government to look at the outdated Highway Act but, at present, anyone using an electronic scooter on the road or path could face a £300 fine and 6 points on their driving license- your scooter can also be seized.”
Andy McDonald, shadow transport secretary, has said there is a need for the Government to provide guidance on this area of the law – Britain needs to change centuries-old legislation. With countries such as France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland supporting electronic scooter usage, and the need to develop and use more environmentally-friendly forms of transport, the existing laws make innovation difficult. However, until such time, e-scooters, as PLEVs (Personal Light Electric Vehicles), may only be used on private land or property.
Emma Grewock gives this advice:
“As electric scooters are powered by a battery, they fall under the category of PLEVs. In order for vehicles to be able to use the road currently, they have to be taxed and registered with the DVLA – obviously an e-scooter doesn’t comply. From our experience, we know that the law surrounding electric scooters is not widely known; it’s easy to buy an e-scooter and many retailers fail to inform their customers of the law – if you are unsure, please contact us and we will be happy to advise.”
With the recent death of YouTube and TV presenter, Emily Hartridge, being struck by a lorry in Battersea and a 14 – year old boy suffering serious head injuries after crashing into a bus stop in Beckenham, the legality and safety of e-scooters has been called into question. ITV news reported on 2nd August that “the Metropolitan Police caught nearly 100 riders in London last week. Most offenders were given a warning but 10 were fined and had their scooters seized.”
Paul Robinson Solicitors specialise in motoring matters and are readily available to cover police interviews under caution, as well as Magistrates and Crown Court hearings. They advise that everyone is entitled to free and independent legal advice at the police station whilst being interviewed under caution, and can be contacted on 01702 338338 (out-of-office number 01702 342525 24 hours a day.)