The UK Government are currently trialling an E-Scooter rental scheme across parts of the country. Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Milton Keynes are all currently taking part in the scheme with 11 of the 33 London Boroughs set to roll out E-Scooter rental in the coming months.
Are Electric Scooters Legal in UK?
Owning your own E-scooter legally is currently very difficult, as there are strict rules on any privately owned E-Scooter to be used lawfully on a road or public place. A rider must have the correct insurance, licence, safety equipment and vehicle tax.
The Department for Transport state it is highly unlikely that a privately owned E-Scooter which is classified as a powered transporter will ever meet the full legal regulations to be ridden legally on a road or public place.
The only place suggested by the them for privately owned E-Scooters to be used is on private land with the land owners permission. However, it is now in lots of major cities across the country possible to rent an E-Scooter and ride them on the roads.
E-Scooters, due to their, design and features are categorised as a motor vehicle by the Department for Transport. There is no new piece of legislation to cover E- so Section 185 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 still applies and defines a motor vehicle as “any mechanically propelled vehicle intended or adapted for use on roads”.
So not only are people driving privately potentially going to be prosecuted but more and more people are susceptible to being stopped and arrested having used this new mode of transport whilst having a concentration of alcohol or specified controlled drugs in their system over the prescribed limit. Section 5 and 5(a) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 governs the legal limits of driving whilst over the prescribed limit.
Under the government scheme currently being rolled out insurance is provided by the E-Scooter rental provider, however to use one of the E-Scooter’s under the scheme an individual must hold a provisional driving licence at least.
The act confirms that it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle when in excess of the legal limit. As such any person caught riding an E-Scooter having consumed alcohol or drugs in excess of the legal limits will face prosecution for a criminal offence. Any drink or drug driving conviction carries a minimum driving disqualification of 12 months and financial penalties or in some circumstances a community order or custodial sentence.
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