ON Monday 14 June Essex Police launched an initiative aimed at owners and riders of privately-owned e-scooters used in public areas.
A spokesperson said: “Our overarching aim is to keep everyone safe on our roads and footpaths. We want to educate owners and riders of privately owned e-scooters about the current legislation and, where necessary, take enforcement action especially where there is evidence of anti-social behaviour, other riding offences or wider criminality.
We must ensure those using privately-owned e-scooters do not pose a risk to the public or themselves due to their presence on public highways and pavements.
The rider of a privately-owned e-scooter being used in a public area is required to hold a driving licence and insurance, but many people are not aware of this.
By educating riders and encouraging them not to use privately-owned e-scooters in a public area, we hope that the number of e-scooters being used illegally, and any perceived anti-social behaviour, will be reduced.
“We recognise that a number of these scooters will be owned and ridden by young people, so we have taken the opportunity to write to schools advising parents of our plans. We’re not trying to criminalise anyone, but please ensure you know the rules before buying your child an e-scooter”.
Superintendent Sam Smith, who is leading this initiative, said:
“We have written to schools recently and asked them to raise awareness with parents about the laws surrounding private e-scooters.
“Private e-scooters are permitted in law only to be used on private land, and are illegal if used on public land and we need to raise awareness of this legislation for everyone’s safety.
“We’re not trying to target young people, but we need them to know that there are aspects to riding an e-scooter that could put them, or the wider public, at risk if the e-scooter is being ridden in a dangerous manner.
“Privately owned e-scooters cannot be insured as they are not roadworthy and, therefore, they present a danger to the rider and the rest of the public.”
In the next few weeks, when we stop and speak to any young person riding a privately-owned e-scooter, we will speak to their parents to raise awareness of the law.
Superintendent Smith went on to say:
“We are aware that e-scooters are also used by adults who use them as a means of leisure and transport, but we will stop and speak to them too. We want to keep people safe and continue to deal with reports of e-scooters being involved in crime.
“Where there is persistent use of privately-owned e-scooters, or evidence of other offences, we will take appropriate enforcement action. This includes e-scooter seizure and riders being reported for driving offences.”
Please stop and have a chat with your local Community Police Teams and ask them any questions you might have about e-scooters.
Anyone who wants to know more about e-scooter legislation and official trials of e-scooters should visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/e-scooter-trials-guidance-for-users