E-scooter: what are the rules and where can I use one in the North West? Leave a comment

Across the North West electric scooters are becoming normal part of daily life, with many opting to avoid the city congestion by hopping on and off.

But with stories emerging of accidents and, in some cases, people getting seriously injured or dying whilst riding them, what exactly are the rules?

What are e-scooters?

E-scooters are a form of vehicle which fall under the term ‘powered transporters’. This is the official word used by the government to describe “a variety of novel and emerging personal transport devices which are powered by a motor”.

Within UK law they are subject to the same rules and regulations that apply to vehicles like cars and motorbikes.

Is it legal to ride an e-scooter?

Yes, as long as it’s part of a government trial. However, it is illegal to ride a privately owned scooter in public. You could face a fine, get penalty points on your licence and the e-scooter could be impounded

Credit: PA

Where are the trials taking place in the North West?

  • Chester

  • Liverpool

  • Salford

  • Rochdale

You must use one of the registered apps to sign up and you can only use the scooters during permitted hours and in certain areas.

The maximum speed for an e-scooter is 15.5mph. Trial e-scooters are limited to this speed and in some areas e-scooters may be limited to a lower maximum speed.

Credit: PA

Do I need a drivers licence to ride an electric scooter?

Yes. You must have the category Q entitlement on your driving licence. A full or provisional UK licence for categories AM, A or B includes entitlement for category Q.

If you have an overseas driving licence, you can use an e-scooter if you:

  • have a valid full licence from an EU or European Economic Area (EEA) country, as long as it allows you to drive low-speed mopeds and motorbikes.

  • have a valid full licence from another country that entitles you to drive a small vehicle and you entered the UK within the last 12 months.

When you sign up to the e-scooter apps, you must prove that you have by a valid licence by taking pictures of both sides.

Although not a legal requirement, it is recommended that helmets are worn while riding e-scooters. Credit: PA

Do I need to wear a helmet or protective clothing?

Helmets are not a legal requirement, but the government recommend that you wear one when riding electric scooters.

It is also suggested that you wear high vis clothing or light-coloured clothing so other people on the roads can clearly see you at all times of the day.

Where can I ride an e-scooter?

You may use a trial e-scooter on the road (except motorways) and in cycle lanes.

It is prohibited to use an e-scooter on the pavement.

The following cycle symbol applys to e-scooters (unless a sign is displayed prohibiting e-scooters from that particular cycle way). Credit: Gov.uk

Where can I park them?

You should never park an e-scooter in the road and only on pavements. You may be fined if you leave them on the floor or in areas designated as “no parking zones.”

Always check the app or the rental provider before parking your e-scooter.

Can I share my e-scooter?

No. E-scooters should be used by one person at a time.

Credit: PA

Other rules for trial e-scooter users

Mobile phones are not allowed to be used while riding an electric scooter, however you can use a screen to display navigation information but it must be set up before setting off.

Bags or other small items you are carrying will not cause a danger to you or others around you.

You should not ride while intoxicated. You may be prosecuted under drink or drug driving laws as careless and dangerous driving offences also apply to users of e-scooters.

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