E-scooters Sheffield: Police issue warning to parents ahead of Christmas

Parents thinking of buying E-scooters as Christmas presents have been urged to think again by South Yorkshire Police.

By Claire Lewis
Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 7:03 am

With demand expected to be high, the force has issued a warning about the law surrounding the use of electric scooters.

The machines can only be ridden legally on private land with the land owner’s permission, or on public roads and cycle lanes where there is a Government-approved rental trial.

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South Yorkshire Police has issued a warning about E-scooters

There are currently no Government-approved trials taking place in South Yorkshire.

E-scooter riders put themselves at risk of committing offences under the Road Traffic Act 1988, or if ridden on a pavement, the Highway Act 1835.

They are classed as ‘powered transporters’ and fall within the legal definition of a motor vehicle under the Road Traffic Act 1998. This means that the same rules that apply to motor vehicles apply to e-scooters.

This includes, but isn’t limited to:

Driving with a licence

Driving/riding with insurance

Driving/riding other than on a road

Drink and drug driving

Requirement to be taxed

Requirement to have a valid MOT

It is not currently possible to get appropriate insurance for privately owned E-scooters, meaning it is illegal to use them on the road or in public spaces.

South Yorkshire Police said: “The only place you can ride a privately owned E-scooter is on private land with the land owner’s permission. It is against the law to ride an E-scooter on any public land. This includes pavements, cycle lanes, beach promenades, bridleways, or any publicly accessible land such as parks and car parks.

“If you are caught using a powered transporter on a public road, pavement, or other prohibited space you are committing a criminal offence and could be prosecuted. The parents of children using E-scooters may be responsible for any fines incurred from them being ridden illegally.

“As well as the risk of prosecution if not used correctly and legally, there are also safety aspects to consider before buying an E-scooter for a loved one this Christmas. Some scooters can reach speeds of more than 70mph and can be incredibly dangerous if safety measures are not followed.”

Inspector Jason Booth, from South Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Group, said: “We understand that E-scooters are a really attractive proposition either as a mode of transport or for recreational use.

“But it appears not everyone is clear on the rules surrounding E-scooters and their correct use. Incorrect and inconsiderate use can put both the riders and other members of the public at risk.

“We would urge everyone considering purchasing an E-scooter as a gift this Christmas please take note of all the rules and regulations surrounding these potentially dangerous pieces of equipment. Our officers are also on hand to provide advice and reassurance around these too if you see one being used out and about.

“We hope everyone across South Yorkshire has a merry and enjoyable Christmas, but also a safe Christmas. So please think carefully about any e-scooter purchase this year.”

South Yorkshire Police recommends that riders riding E-scooters legally should wear appropriate safety protection, including helmets.