POLICE have been stopping riders of e-scooters to let them know they are breaking the law.
Officers from Brighton and Hove Police stopped people outside Brighton Palace Pier yesterday morning.
E-scooters can only be used on public roads if they are rented as part of government-backed trials.
This is taking place in 30 areas including Newcastle, Bristol and Bournemouth, but not in Brighton and Hove.
If you own an e-scooter, you can only use it on private land. You are not allowed to use it on public roads, cycle lanes or pavements.
A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “During a break in the rain this morning we were outside the Palace Pier engaging with electric scooter riders to inform them that it’s currently against the law to ride an e-scooter on a public road or pavement.
“There was some confusion around it being legal to hire an e-scooter as part of a government trial scheme. This however is not the case in Brighton and Hove, so if you are riding an e-scooter expect to be spoken to by the police.”
The police’s Facebook post about their activity sparked debate on the future of e-scooters in the city.
One resident said: “I’m glad to see this, I can’t count the amount of times I’ve nearly been run over by these electric scooters.
“Along with electric bicycles they should be treated like motorbikes; the rider should have to complete some sort of training like a CBT (Compulsory Basic Training), complete an MOT to confirm they’re meeting a safety standard and be taxed.”
Another said: “They are not polluting, leave them alone and start doing something about all the speeding motorists on their phones.”
E-scooters are increasing popular nationally.
Soaring sales of electric bicycles and scooters have helped Halfords notch up a 72 per cent jump in annual profits.
However they remain illegal on public roads unless part of a government trial.
West Midlands Police launched a month-long operation to tackle e-scooter riders who flout the law – with offenders facing £300 fines.
Kent’s police and crime commissioner called on ministers to halt the rollout of trials to “review the situation”
Matthew Scott said their use must be reviewed before more people got hurt and before trials were expanded further.
He said: “Inconsiderate riders are becoming a menace on our roads and pavements, ignoring the law and causing dangers for other road users.
“We urgently need decisive action now on their future, as we’re in danger of losing control of the issue and placing additional burdens on policing.
“Too many people are using them in places they shouldn’t and we need to stop them being bought for young people.”
He said there should be no more rollouts until work was done with retailers, manufacturers and the public to ensure safety and that people understood the law.