Police move to clarify laws on private e-scooter use

12.31 | 2 December 2020 | | 3 comments

Those considering buying an electric scooter this Christmas are being urged to fully understand the law before doing so.

E-scooters have become commonplace in towns and cities this year, after the Government permitted the start of trials for rental schemes in July.

However, while the use of rental e-scooters is now legal, Devon and Cornwall Police is keen to remind people that it remains against the law to ride a privately owned e-scooter in any public place in the UK.

This includes roads, pavements, parks, town centres or canal towpaths. The only place a privately owned e-scooter can be used is on private land.

This is because e-scooters are classified as Personal Light Electric Vehicles (PLEVs) so they are treated as motor vehicles. As such, if they are used on a road, pavement or public place they are subject to the same legal requirements as any motor vehicle.

MPC Andy Bennett, road casualty reduction officer with Devon and Cornwall Police, said: “We understand that e-scooters are very tempting for Christmas presents, but we would urge people to fully understand the law first.

“If our officers find anyone using e-scooters in a public place, the scooter will be seized, and the rider reported for any offences.

“I would also urge anyone using an e-scooter legally – i.e. on private land – to carefully consider their safety before doing so.  

“All riders should wear a helmet, younger riders particularly, would benefit from additional protective clothing such as knee and elbow pads to minimise injury.”



Comment on this story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Report a reader comment

Order by Latest first | Oldest first | Highest rated | Lowest rated

    What are the requirements to use a privately owned electric scooter on the road or path?
    What’s the difference between a rental and owned machine?

    Paul, Goole
    Agree (5) | Disagree (0)

    The law needs updating, how can you class anything with a vehicle status but not provide the provisions for it to be legal? To be a vehicle it needs to be designed or adapted to be used on the Rd, They are no more dangerous that the scooters that disabled or infirm use, yet they can

    Ian Baker, Scunthorpe
    Agree (7) | Disagree (4)

    I am very pleased to learn that Devon & Cornwall police have said they will seize any privately owned e-scooters being used in a public place. Police all over the UK should also do this. I urge everyone who sees an e-scooter being used illegally, reports this to the police. This gives police an idea of the scale of the problem and they will give you the log number; make sure you ask for it. Likewise legally rented e-scooters that are being ridden inappropriately such as on pavements or 2 people on a scooter etc. E-scooters are a nightmare for vulnerable and disabled pedestrians.

    C. Young, Liverpool
    Agree (10) | Disagree (8)

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.