Reminder that private e-scooters are illegal to ride on public roads before police enforcement begins
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A police operation which will enforce against e-scooter misuse begins in the next couple of weeks.
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, run a scheme 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.
The operation will focus on issuing points or fines for no insurance to anyone riding a private e-scooter on public roads. The scooter itself may also be seized.
It will also focus on the misuse of VOI e-scooters, particularly targeting those riding on pavements and those not riding sensibly.
PC David Okere, said: “We are issuing this warning early so that people have time to take this information onboard before we start our phase of enforcement activity.
“It is currently illegal to ride privately owned e-scooters 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.
“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.
”Our operation will also be focusing on those misusing the VOI e-scooters. The rules are very clear as to the conditions you must abide by when riding one and anyone found breaking these rules will be issued suspensions, bans or even face criminal action.”
Rules when riding a VOI e-scooter:
- You must be 18 or over with a driving licence to ride the e-scooters.
- When a user first rides a Voi e-scooter, ID verification is completed by Onfido to ensure the account holder is the person riding the scooter. Only the account holder can ride the e-scooter.
- The scooters must be used on roads or cycle lanes. Riding on the pavement is illegal.
- Riding a scooter under the influence is illegal and if caught, you will be arrested for drink driving. Voi encourages responsible riding and offers a 'reaction time test' feature that aims to discourage drunk riding. Should a rider fail the reaction test, they are presented with a Google search for local taxis.
- Voi encourages everyone to report instances of anti-social behaviour or misuse via their “report a scooter” page: voiscooters.com/report/uk so appropriate action can be taken. Users face temporary or permanent bans if they do not follow the e-scooter usage rules.