Warwickshire Police speak to e-scooter riders and parents to raise awareness of e-scooter legislation
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Warwickshire Police officers and staff have stopped and spoken to 14 e-scooter riders between Monday 29 March and Thursday 1 April in Warwick, Leamington, Kenilworth and Nuneaton and Bedworth as part of an increased focus on ensuring riders and their parents or guardians know that it is illegal to ride a privately owned e-scooter in a public place.
Those stopped, who were mostly teenagers, were taken home, where the legislation around e-scooters was explained to them and to their parents or guardian. Their names and e-scooter details were also recorded so if stopped again, officers can check if they have already been spoken to. If stopped a second time officers have the powers to seize e-scooters and prosecute riders using Section 165 of the Road Traffic Act.
This latest initiative involving officers from OPU, Reactive, SNT and the Special Constabulary follows an increase in complaints from the public who have safety concerns around the speed e-scooters are travelling and the legality of their usage.
PC 1338 Adam Fletcher from the Roads Policing Unit said “We understand that buying an e-scooter can be tempting, especially as the weather improves however the law is clear. You can buy one but it is illegal to use a privately owned e-scooter in any public space including roads, pavements, parks, town centres or canal towpaths for example. 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 and subject to the same legal requirements such as MOT, licensing, tax and insurance.
As e-scooters do not have number plates, signalling ability and don’t always have visible rear lights, they can’t be used legally on the roads.
PC Fletcher said “Warwickshire Police is working with partners including Warwickshire County Council to educate e-scooter riders first. However, those who continue to ignore the law will have their escooter seized, so please make sure you keep your e-scooter on private land so this doesn’t happen to you.
“Local schools have also had assemblies highlighting the illegal use of e-scooters as a mode of transport to and from school. We are also pleased to see that despite a surge in sales last year, nearly all retailers now state on their websites that the use of e-scooters on public land is illegal.
“To raise awareness of the legislation, we have also produced advice leaflets and flyers and are sharing information about e-scooter legislation on social media, most recently through an online video.“
Whilst some parts of the country are taking part in Government trials for e-scooter hire with a view to making them legal to use on the roads,
Warwickshire is not currently part of the trials so e-scooters cannot be hired at this time.
Mark Ryder, Strategic Director for Communities at Warwickshire County Council said: “We understand the public’s support for environmentally friendly modes of transport, and we want to work with our local communities to make sure our public spaces are safe for everyone. There are a number of trials underway looking at how e-scooters could work and what safety requirements would be needed, and we are keen to learn from these before exploring how they could be used effectively and safely in Warwickshire. Along with the Police, we are therefore asking the public not to buy an e-scooter at this current time, and please do not ride an e-scooter in a public place”
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