E-scooters must follow rules of road ‘same as bus’
An Isle of Wight woman is thought to be the first person to be banned from UK roads for drink-driving an e-scooter.
The magistrate told Kyah Jordan the vehicle was “the same as a moped, the same as a bus” in terms of rules the road and penalties for breaking them.
The 20-year-old had hired the e-scooter after drinking with friends.
The Met Police says fines and penalty points will be handed to e-scooter riders jumping a red light, using a mobile phone or riding on the pavement.
It remains illegal to use a privately owned e-scooter on public roads, cycle lanes or pavements.
And owners risk a £300 fine, six penalty points on their driving licence and an additional fine for not having insurance.
But rentals, for which, government guidance says, the operating company will provide insurance, can be ridden – with a full or provisional driving licence – at up to 15.5mph on roads in regions where they are being trialled.
Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety executive director David Davies said: “Using privately owned e-scooters on UK roads is illegal.
“And there are legitimate safety concerns both for riders and pedestrians.”
He told Road Safety GB he applauded the retailer John Lewis, which has stopped selling them, adding: “Many retailers are happy to sell e-scooters, knowing full well that they will be used illegally.”
The Met’s Ch Supt Simon Ovens told BBC News anyone given an e-scooter should consider taking it back to the shop.
“To get on one of these things is plain craziness,” he said.
“It’s got to be made really clear that they’re not to be used in public places.
“And I’m not sure retailers have done that properly.”
But retailers say demand remains extremely high.
Public affairs director Tom McPhail said Pure Electric was selling “several thousand a month”, in a report published by NatWest in December.
And the Transport Committee called for them to be made legal., in a report in October.
“E-scooters have the potential to become an exciting and ingenious way to navigate our streets and get from place to place,” Huw Merriman, who chairs the committee said.
“If this gets people out of the car, reducing congestion and exercising in the open air, then even better.”