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Use of electric scooters illegal on public roads, cycle lanes and pavements

Published Wednesday 12 May, 2021
Last updated on Wednesday 12 May, 2021

Swale Borough Council urges electric scooter users to comply with the law by only using them on private land where they have permission to ride.

Electric scooters are classed as Personal Light Electric Vehicles and are treated as motor vehicles. This means users require crash helmets, lights, number plates, insurance, vehicle tax, a driving licence and registration to use them on the road.

This also means that it is illegal to use them on pavements, in cycle lanes and in pedestrian-only areas, and users risk having their scooter seized by police if they are seen riding dangerously.

Local police are stopping users to inform them of the law and are seizing scooters if an offence is committed.

Persistent offenders and dangerous riders can also receive a fixed penalty notice or traffic offence report.

Cllr Richard Palmer, cabinet member for community at the council, said:

“We’ve noticed hot spots across the borough where electric scooters are being used recklessly. Our town centres in Sittingbourne, Faversham and especially in Sheerness are problem areas for the community.

“We know that adults use electric scooters, but it is mostly children that are riding dangerously through the high streets, making it unsafe for pedestrians and shoppers.

“We are monitoring high street CCTV and can pass footage of people riding dangerously and repeat offenders to the police.

“Our ambassadors and marshals are also patrolling high streets now that shops have reopened and will be on the lookout for electric scooter users who are breaking the law.

“Anyone breaking the law will be reported to the police.”

Inspector Joel Mitchell of Swale’s Community Safety Unit said:

“Our PCs and PCSOs have been patrolling the town centres to engage with the owners of electric scooters and have been providing education around the law on using them. We have also been working with the local council to ensure a joined-up approach to tackling this issue.

“We have received reports of people using them dangerously and causing anti-social behaviour and it is important that people adhere to the law.

“Owners should be aware that these vehicles currently fall under the same laws and regulations that apply to all motor vehicles, which means for use on a public road the rider requires insurance, vehicle tax, a driving licence and registration.

“We will continue to stop and give words of advice and will seize the equipment where offences have been committed.

“Where appropriate, persistent offenders or dangerous riders can be issued with a fixed penalty notice or be reported to the court for prosecution.”

Report the dangerous use of an electric scooter at www.kent.police.uk/report.