Electric scooters: The law and how not to get caught out
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Hundreds of people in Norfolk have started taking to the roads and pavements on electric scooters - but do you know the laws surrounding their use?
E-scooters have become one of the newest and coolest ways to get around, with Google reporting a 376pc increase in searches for the vehicles. But did you know it’s illegal to ride a privately owned e-scooter in public?
E-scooters are classed as motor vehicles under the Road Traffic Act, meaning they require insurance and a valid UK driving licence to be used, by law.
It also means that people found breaking the rules and riding a privately owned e-scooter on public roads risk a £300 fine, six penalty points or even losing their licence.
The only exception to the law is rented scooters, such as the new Beryl e-scooters, which are permitted by the government for a 12-month trial period.
Norfolk County Council have teamed up with the Department of Transport and Beryl to bring 10 e-scooters to Norwich for the public to trial.
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The Beryl e-scooters can be used on roads, cycle lanes, carriageways and other areas where cycling is permitted as long as the rider has a valid UK driving licence.
Inspector Lisa Hooper, for the joint roads and armed policing team, said: “We support this trial which, if successful, could offer an efficient form of alternative travel for local people.
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“E-scooters are classed as a motor vehicle under the Road Traffic Act and therefore we must remind users to treat them as such.
“Users must hold a current driving licence and be covered by a valid insurance policy. As it is a motor vehicle, the Road Traffic Act also provides powers to police to stop users of e-Scooters for offences such as drug and drink driving as well as careless or dangerous driving.
“It is important that users stick to the roads or cycle lanes, the use of e-scooters on pavements is not allowed by law.
“Whilst these government trials are currently underway, the legislation still remains the same and we would remind people that the use of regular e-scooters remain illegal in public places.
“During this trial period, we will look to engage and educate e-scooter users, individuals must be aware that they could face a fine or penalty points if found to be repeat offenders.”
For more information on the law surrounding e-scooters, visit the Norfolk Constabulary website.