E-scooters were back in the headlines yesterday after a dangerous driver was prosecuted in Bolton for riding one after a driving ban.
34-year-old Kyle Lowthian was spotted using the Qings Wing electric scooter, which he claimed to have bought for his son’s birthday, by a police officer on Outwood Road, Radcliffe at 11.10pm on November 18 last year.
At the time Lowthian was already banned from driving following a police chase on August 9 last year.
Yesterday (21 April), he was sentenced at Bolton Crown Court and given 10 months in prison, suspended for two years during which he will have to participate in a thinking skills programme and three days of rehabilitation activities.
He is also banned from applying for a driving licence for three years after which he will have to take an extended test.
Mr Lowthian’s case isn’t the only e-scooter related incident to have hit the headlines and it begs the question- do people really know the rules and regulations around driving an electric scooter on the roads?
Here’s everything you need to know about e-scooters:
What is an e-scooter?
It is a two-wheeled scooter with small, electric motors.
Electric scooters are freely available to buy in the UK online and in stores, and they cost anywhere from just over £100 to more than £1000.
However, you can’t ride it on a UK public road, cycle lane or pavement- anyone who does so will be committing an offence.
The only place an e-scooter can be used is on private land, with the permission of the landowner.
Rental e-scooters were allowed on some of Britain’s roads from 4 July 2020 when a 12 month trail was announced to assess whether the devices reduce motor traffic and what impact they have on the safety of users and those around them.
Only rental e-scooters are allowed on roads, and they are limited to 15.5mph.
Where are e-scooter trails taking place?
Currently, e-scooters should only be used within the local area hosting the trial.
Riders who participate in the trials will need a full or provisional car, motorcycle or moped licence, must be aged at least 16 and will be urged to wear a helmet.
Trails have been and are currently taking place in the following areas:
- Bournemouth and Poole
- Buckinghamshire (Aylesbury and High Wycombe)
- Cheshire West and Chester (Chester)
- Copeland (Whitehaven)
- Essex (Basildon, Chelmsford, Colchester and Clacton)
- Gloucestershire (Cheltenham and Gloucester)
- Great Yarmouth
- Kent (Canterbury)
- Milton Keynes
- North and West Northamptonshire (Northampton, Kettering, Corby and Wellingborough)
- North Devon (Barnstaple)
- North Lincolnshire (Scunthorpe)
- Oxfordshire (Oxford)
- Solent (Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton)
- Somerset West (Taunton)
- South Somerset (Yeovil, Chard and Crewkerne)
- Staffordshire (Stafford and Newcastle-Under-Lyme)
- Tees Valley (Hartlepool and Middlesbrough)
- West Midlands (Birmingham, Coventry and Sandwell)
- West of England Combined Authority (Bristol and Bath)
What are the rules surrounding e-scooters?
E-scooters are classed as motor vehicles; therefore, the rules that apply to motor vehicles, also apply to e-scooters.
As such, riders need to have a license, insurance and need to be taxed.
You cannot use an e-scooter if you have an overseas provisional licence, learner permit or equivalent.
According to the Metropolitan Police, if you’re caught riding an e-scooter without insurance you could receive an on-the-spot fine of £300 and six penalty points.
You could also be given a Fixed Penalty Notice for no driving licence, up to £100 fine and three-six penalty points.
Police will also take action against rider behaviour, whether private or rental.
Offences could include:
- riding on the footway: Fixed Penalty Notice and possible £50 fine
- using a mobile phone: £100 and six penalty points
- riding through red lights: Fixed Penalty Notice, £100 fine and possible penalty points
- drink driving offences: As with driving cars; court imposed fines, driving ban and possible imprisonment
While it’s recommended that you wear a helmet, you are not legally required to do so.
Unlike motor vehicles, e-scooters don’t need to have a registration plate.
Where to rent an e-scooter in the Greater Manchester?
Electric scooter trials are currently taking place in Rochdale and Salford
In both locations, company Lime Scooters are responsible for e-scooter rentals.
You can use the Lime Scooter App to see:
- Where the e-scooters are currently located, shown on the app with a scooter symbol
- Locations for parking your scooter when you’re done, shown on the map with a ‘P’ symbol
Follow the instructions on the app or on this page on how to use and drop off a scooter when you’re done.
Find out more on their website: https://safety.li.me/
Would you like to see e-scooter trials introduced in Bolton?