Travel Safe Bucks (TSB) has launched a new social media campaign to raise awareness of the law on privately owned electric scooters – which are illegal for use on public roads, cycle lanes and pavements.
Under Government regulations, e-scooters are classed as ‘powered transporters’ – a term used to cover a variety of novel and emerging personal transport devices which are powered by a motor.
While trials of rental e-scooter schemes were made legal by the Government in July 2020 – and have since been launched in Aylesbury and High Wycombe – the laws on private e-scooters have remained unchanged.
This means anyone who uses a privately owned e-scooter on a public road or other prohibited space is committing a criminal offence and can be prosecuted.
The potential penalties depend on the nature and gravity of the offence, ranging from a fine and penalty points to disqualification from driving. The e-scooter could also be impounded.
People using e-scooters dangerously or while under the influence of drink or drugs can also be convicted of offences which could lead to imprisonment.
It is only legal to use a privately owned e-scooter on private land, with the permission of the landowner.
The new campaign runs across Facebook and Twitter and is supported by the Thames Valley Police and Hampshire Constabulary Joint Operations Roads Policing Unit.
Nick Naylor, Buckinghamshire Council cabinet member for transport, said: “The law is very clear that privately owned e-scooters can only be used on private land with the landowner’s permission.
“For those using the e-scooters as part of the Government trials we know they can bring many benefits such as reducing carbon emissions, cheaper and more accessible travel and congestion reduction in our towns and cities, but that mustn’t be at the expense of road safety.
“If you use an electric scooter as part of the rental schemes, please do so safely and legally, brush up on the highway code and your responsibilities as a road user.”
The social media campaign comprises a series of graphics and an animation developed by the road safety consultancy Stennik.
This suite of resources is still available for road safety teams to purchase. For more information, contact Edward Seaman, via email.