Following last week’s launch of an e-scooter hire scheme on the Isle of Wight, Sgt Radford from Isle of Wight Police has kindly set out what you can and can’t do with e-scooters on the Island.
It’s important to note that there are different rules between e-scooters that you hire and those that are privately owned, with changes made to the law so that hired e-scooters are legal to use in a public place (with some exceptions).
Hiring an e-scooter
An e-scooter is classified as a Personal Light Electric Vehicle (PLEVs). You can use it on a road or a designated cycle lane.
Beryl scooters currently have a maximum speed of 12.5 mph. You are liable to (almost) the same restrictions as someone who uses a car or motorbike.
What you must do:
- You must follow the Highway Code
- You must have signed up to the Beryl App which will verify your age and that you hold a provisional driving licence
- It is to be used by one rider at a time
What you are advised to do:
- Wearing a helmet is optional (but recommended)
You cannot do the following:
- Ride it on a pavement
- Use it on the dual carriage way
- You can’t ride it through a no-entry or the wrong was down a one-way street, etc.
- You cannot carry passengers
You cannot use a mobile phone while riding
- Use it for ‘fun’ and do stunts
- You cannot ‘drink or drug’ drive
Sgt Radford explains that doing any of these things makes you liable for arrest, a fine, points on your driving licence and or a court appearance.
He also says that not adhering to the law and rules will put the trial in jeopardy.
See the Government Website detailing rules for the trial.
Privately owned e-scooters
Privately owned e-scooters can not be used in a public place. This is illegal, they can only be used on private land.
Sgt Radford says,
“I can assure you that we have seized privately owned e-scooters that have been used in a public place. It is likely that you will receive one or all of the following;
- Your scooter will be seized, you will be charged a recovery and daily storage fee (yes, it is expensive).
- You may receive points on your licence and a fine for ‘driving otherwise in accordance with a licence’
- You may receive 6 points and a £300 for ‘having no insurance’
- You may be sent to court and you can explain to the magistrate/judge on why you were riding an e-scooter. Depending on the circumstances at court it could take you over 12 points which will ban you from driving (6 points maximum in your first 2 years).
“This is the law, if you are an enthusiast and want these legalised, riding them now will not help. Any plans to have them legalised may be pushed back.”
He suggests that anyone with issues with the law should write to their MP, Bob Seely.
For the full details of what’s permitted, see the Government Website.