A disqualified driver has been banned from driving for another 13 months after he was stopped by police – riding an E-scooter.
In a case believed to be the first of its kind in Devon and Cornwall, Joshua Bishop, of King Street, Stonehouse was arrested on April 12 after he was seen riding the scooter through Armada Way.
He was later stopped in Cornwall Street by Pc Tom Ottley who determined that 24-year-old Bishop was a disqualified driver.
Bishop was arrested and taken to Charles Cross police station custody suite where he was interviewed and later charged with driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance.
He appeared at Plymouth Magistrates’ Court today where he pleaded guilty to both charges.
Magistrates’ disqualified Bishop for a further 13 months. He was also fined £140 and ordered to pay £85 court costs.
In February this year Bishop appeared at Plymouth Magistrates’ Court where he admitted driving while disqualified and without insurance. On that occasion he received a 28-day curfew, was banned from driving for nine months, ordered to pay £95 victim surcharge and £85 costs.
Bishop is understood to have been the first person in Devon and Cornwall to appear in court to face charges relating to the use of an E-scooter.
In March police across Devon and Cornwall issued a series of warnings regarding e-scooters, alerting unsuspecting buyers that the two-wheeled electric vehicles were not entitled by law to be ridden on the roads of pavements.
E-scooters are classified as Personal Light Electric Vehicles (PLEVs) and are treated as motor vehicles, which means that if they are used on a road, pavement or public place they are subject to the same legal requirements as any motor vehicle.
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
Following the court hearing, arresting officer Pc Tom Ottley said: “Since before Christmas we have been engaging, explaining and educating people we have encountered out on E-scooters – now it will be enforcement. There has been a wealth of information and warnings about E-scooters and ignorance is no longer a defence.
“If we keep seeing people on them on public streets we will be taking them off them.”
Pc Ottley noted that over the recent weekend he encountered a number of youths on the Hoe promenade using E-scooters.
He said: “I took them off them and got their parents to come to Charles Cross police station to explain the legislation. They understood the illegality of riding E-scooters in public places and we did, in this instance, return the scooters to them.
“However, I would remind the public that we are we are getting to the enforcement state.
“The law is quite clear. If you are driving without insurance police have seizure powers.
“Additionally – you have to be able to provide a valid certificate of insurance to get your vehicle back after it has been seized by police. As you cannot get documentation for E-scooters, you will not be getting them back. They will end up being destroyed.”