E-Scooters And The Law Surrounding Them

Electric scooters can also be called Personal Light Electric Vehicles or PLEVs. The Road Traffic Act of 1988 says that a motor vehicle is “any mechanically powered vehicle intended or adapted for use on roads”. Private e-scooters come under this description and must be compliant to motor vehicle laws.

The laws says motor vehicles have to be taxed, however PLEVs are exempt from this, so private -scooters
fall into a grey area of law. Private powered vehicles are illegal on pavements and footpaths and must only be ridden/driven on private land and this with the land owners consent. If ridden on the public highway this will be considered a criminal offence.

Rental e-scooters
On July 4, 2020, new regs were publicly announced letting e-scooter trial schemes in England begin. This is to see if e-scooters help reduce traffic and also see what benefits, if any, they have on safety for their users and other road users. Users must have a full or provisional driving licence. These trials have come about quicker than expected. Probably due to their popularity.

Recently there has clearly been a need for e-scooter legalisation. Some days before rental e-scooters became legal in Great Britain the government released the Escooter trials guidelines. These outline that e-scooter trials are intended to operate for 12 months, with a possible extension on the legislation. Also written are the changes to legislation that are required to introduce rental e-scooter trials. Rental e-scooters are to be treated very similarly to electrically assisted pedal cycles or EAPCs, they will still be categorised as motor vehicles.

Key points

E-scooters must have an electric motor with a maximum power rating of 500W
Riders of e-scooters must hold a valid provisional driving licence
15.5mph is the maximum permitted speed
Helmets are not required to be worn
A motor vehicle insurance policy must cover rental e-scooters
They are able to be used in designated cycle lanes and the road
It may be possible that these changes in legislation and rental e-scooter trials could lead to the
legalisation of private e-scooters on the public highways.