To learn more about this early e-scooter see article published in history group today.
We're seeing increasing number of these relatively new e-scooters whizzing about our streets, but few of us know what's actually permitted.
Here's what I've been able to discern from the wisdom of the web.
Until last summer the vehicles were only allowed on private land. But, from last August they were allowed on the streets in specified trial areas.
According to the Metropolitan Police,
E-scooters come under the category of “powered transporters”. This also covers a range of other personal transport devices which are powered by a motor.
“Powered transporters” fall within the legal definition of a motor vehicle under the Road Traffic Act 1988. Therefore, the rules that apply to motor vehicles, also apply to e-scooters.
As a motor vehicle, they must comply with various pieces of Road Traffic Legislation, including but not limited to:
- driving with a licence
- driving/riding with insurance
- driving/riding other than on a road
- need to be taxed
The internet tells me that the London trial is due to start in the summer. But, I can't find a specific date. Back in March, media was reporting that only 11 of 33 London boroughs signed up. But I can't see which ones did and whether that includes Haringey and/or our neighbouring boroughs. (But I've put a question out to Haringey on Twitter).
I nearly got mown down today on a zebra crossing by a guy riding a skateboard in the middle of Upper Street.
Yesterday afternoon saw a rider with a toddler holding on for dear life. Was going slow and youngster had a helmet on . Herd people shouting and hitting the Horn. Is a very busy road. With fast flowing traffic
Unbelievable - like the guy I saw driving along with a small baby tucked on his lap under the seat belt.
I get the impression that e-scooters have joined the long list of things that are theoretically illegal but actually permitted as there is no enforcement
You see the same with the many drivers who drive at way over the speed limit on St Ann's road, with no sign of any enforcement activity.
Electric scooters are illegal on the road, on the pavement and in the park. This is the government web site that deals with it:
No, Charlie, it’s not that simple. They’re illegal on public land if privately owned. If they’re rented from an approved company, insured and the driver is licensed, then they can be used in the same places as bicycles.
True, but the ones we see on the street are not rented - they are being bought from shops like Halfords and online. These sellers know the scooters will be used illegally, but don't take any responsibility.
No doubt (I think trials have yet to start anywhere in London), but the point of this post is to create clarity. So, let be clear.
Well, they may be dangerous for the rider to use, hazardous to everyone else on the roads and footpaths, and also illegal, but being powered by electricity, they are absolutely environmentally friendly, so let's be positive and let them find their proper place in the hierarchy of hazards in the world.
I have mixed feelings about e-scooters, but what is crazy is that chains of London shops and online shops are allowed to sell these. I asked about them at a shop in brent cross. They had models that could go up to 62 mph. They said that all the models they sell can only be used on private land, but what people do with then once they leave the shop is their business. They know that 99% of what they sell will be used illegally. The trial of e scooters is on rental speed restricted e scooters. The government is negligent in not dealing with this issue which is now out of control.
They could be a very useful way of getting around but need to be treated as what they are, mopeds without a seat.
Some of them have seats too!
In addition, cycling (and walking) have health benefits that are lacking when you just stand on an electric scooter - and we don't want a situation where electric scooters make cycling more dangerous, especially for children.