Do not buy e-scooters as Christmas presents – they are illegal to ride on public roads
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Police officers in Northamptonshire are encouraging people not to buy e-scooters as Christmas presents as they are not currently allowed to be ridden on public roads.
The popularity of e-scooters has grown substantially in recent years with people able to hire them in towns and cities across the world.
In Northamptonshire, e-scooter company – Voi, are currently running a 12-month trial which allows users to pay for scooters by the minute via an app.
However, privately owned e-scooters are not currently allowed to be ridden on public roads, cycle lanes or pavements. They can only be ridden on private land.
This is because they are classified as Personal Light Electric Vehicles (PLEVs) and are subject to all the same legal requirements as other motor vehicles.
If you are caught riding a privately-owned e-scooter on a public road, you could get a £300 fixed-penalty notice and, if you have one, six points on your driving licence. The scooter you are riding could also be seized.
PC Kate Rideout from Northamptonshire Police’s Safer Roads Teams, said: “We are issuing this warning early because we know that many people and many parents will be looking to buy e-scooters as Christmas presents and what they may not know is that it is currently illegal to ride them on public roads.
“That means that they cannot be used for anything but riding on private land – you will not be able to use them to commute to workplaces, to travel into town or even to ride outside your house if you do not own the land.
“We know that this fact is not always made clear at the point of purchase by the companies selling these scooters, and it is only often mentioned in the small print that people often neglect to read.
"This is why we are issuing this information in the hope that people don’t waste their money buying something they will not be able to use.
“As it stands at this moment in time, riding a privately owned e-scooter on a public road is illegal. The government may change this legislation in the future however, for now, police officers who see one being ridden are duty bound to uphold the law and you may be issued with a fine and have your scooter seized if you are seen riding one.
“Please therefore save yourself some time and money by not buying an e-scooter this Christmas.”