A BANNED driver called a Wiltshire Police to check if he could ride his electric scooter.
When David Andrew, 27, was told the law was unclear on the question he decided to ride the e-scooter – and got pulled over by police when they spotted him riding on the pavement in Devizes. It is currently illegal to ride an e-scooter in a public place in the UK.
On Friday, Salisbury magistrates handed him a conditional discharge and six penalty points. Chairman of the bench Sarah Neish said: “It was an offence. You can’t get round that.”
Prosecutor Keith Ballinger said a police officer saw Andrew riding an electric scooter on the pavement on London Road, Devizes, at around 6.40pm on June 19 last year. He admitted to the officer he was a disqualified driver having been given a two year ban in January. He has since served a jail sentence for driving whilst disqualified.
Andrew, of Salisbury Street, Devizes, pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.
Defending, Moses Tawo said: “Before Mr Andrew got on the scooter on the date in question he tells me he had the presence of mind to ring 101 with the view to determine whether or not his disqualified status as it were affected the riding of the scooter.
“As to why he did that, he tells me he’d been getting mixed messages, unfortunately. It doesn’t appear he got a straightforward answer because he was told the law on that was unclear. Needless to say, Mr Andrew took the wrong option.”
The solicitor noted that his client had been jailed for disqualified driving since being caught in June, telling magistrates that the scooter offences would have been unlikely to attract a separate penalty.
The magistrates said they accepted Andrew’s explanation. He was given a conditional discharge and six points.
Andrew was banned from driving for 26 months last October, when he was sentenced to 16 weeks imprisonment for driving a Range Rover on May 1 and, four days later, a flat bed truck while subject to a roads ban.
Following the hearing, Wiltshire Police made it clear it was illegal to ride electric scooters in a public place. The scooters are subject to the same legal requirements as any motor vehicle, meaning riders must have a driving and licence and insurance where use of the e-scooters is allowed. Public hire schemes are currently being trialled in a number of cities around the UK, including Bristol.