Message from West Sussex County Council County Road Safety Team regarding E-scooters
In recent months, it has been brought to our attention that there is an increasing number of individuals riding e-scooters on the public highway, pavements and in public open spaces, often causing a nuisance to other road and pavement users.
E-scooters are a relatively new mode of transport and as such the Government is trialling various schemes and developing the guidance around their safe use. However, (at the time of writing this letter) many are still unaware e-scooters are classed as ‘Personal Light Electric Vehicles’ (PLEVs), which means they are treated as motor vehicles and subject to the same legal requirements such as:
- Driving licence
- Number plates
- Type approval
- Road tax
- Crash helmets etc.
Without these, e-scooters cannot be used legally on the road and certainly not until legislation has been put in place. In no circumstances is it legal to ride on an e-scooter with a passenger(s) and is considered extremely dangerous. The illegal use of an e-scooter, on the public highway or pavement, is considered a criminal offence and can potentially bring about criminal proceedings.
The Government is currently trialling the use of approved rental e-scooters as environmentally friendly modes of transport in some specific locations in the UK (find out more here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/e-scooter-trials-guidance-for-users).
The police are obliged to take action against anyone who is caught repeatedly using an e-scooter illegally or in a way that causes a nuisance to others. In these circumstances, the police have the power to seize the e-scooter under Section 59 of the Police Reform Act/165 of the Road Traffic Act. There will be more and more police presence in the coming weeks and months specifically targeting e-scooter users in West Sussex.
For further detailed information regarding e-scooters please visit GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/powered-transporters/information-sheet-guidance-on-powered-transporters