Police who have received an increasing number of reports of e-scooters being used illegally have promised to clamp down on the two-wheeled law-breakers.
Officers from different parts of the Devon and Cornwall force area have been posting warnings on social media in recent days, alerting unsuspecting buyers that their much-loved e-scooters are not entitled by law to be ridden on the roads or pavements.
Brixham Police’s neighbourhood team urged people to think carefully if they were considering to buy one of the electric-powered scooters, stating that “if you drive it on public land you are risking being reported for several penalty point offences and having the scooter seized”.
The post warned that officers from Brixham and Paignton would be out and about over the coming weeks “providing enforcement and education” about the law and the risks law-breakers face.
Police issued similar warnings in November last year in the hope of staving off people getting Christmas presents which then led them to fall foul of the law.
Plympton police’s neighbourhood team have also used their social media page to give a detailed series of warnings about the issue.
PCSO Elaine Hesketh wrote: “I have noticed that there is an increasing number of e-scooters on the roads, on the pavements and in other public places.
“In order to help our resident’s stay safe and on the right side of the law I thought I would find out and share with you exactly what the rules are.
“While e-scooters are legally available to purchase, it’s currently 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.
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“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.”
She explained there were a number of different penalties which could be incurred for using a ‘motor vehicle’ on a road or other public place:
• Without insurance – six points, £300 fine, seizure of vehicle
• Without a licence – penalty points, fine, seizure of vehicle
• Failing to comply with Construction & Use legislation – ranging from non-endorsable fixed penalty to being reported to court for using in a dangerous condition
• Impaired by alcohol/drugs – licence disqualification, fine or penalty points
PCSO Hesketh added: “We understand that e-scooters are very tempting for presents, and a great way to get around, but we would urge people to fully understand the law first.
“If you are found to be using an e-scooter in a public place, the scooter could be seized, and the rider reported for any offences.
“We 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.”