North Yorkshire police boss's new warning over e-scooters
North Yorkshire's Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner has issued a warning about the legality and safety of e-scooters.
Philip Allott has looked at the example of York to assess the impact of electric scooters in York on a visit to the only licensed provider of vehicles in the city.
Mr Allott is now warning many of those riding privately-owned e-scooters are breaking the law.
Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Philip Allott said: “I know that many people will have bought e-scooters in good faith from reputable shops but with little guidance about how they should be used.
"My message is that the law is clear – it is illegal to use privately-owned electric or petrol scooters on public roads and footpaths if they are not part of the City Council’s approved scheme.
“It is also clear that a small minority, whether using licensed scooters or not, are using them under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or carrying passengers."
The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner met with the team behind TIER which provides e-scooters which can be hired for commuting and travelling as part of a licensing agreement with York City Council to support safe, low carbon methods of transport.
Their vehicles comply with road traffic laws, which apply to all e-scooters, are fully insured and legally allowed to be used on public roads and footpaths by those holding a driving licence.
Police believe that the vast majority of privately-owned e-scooters are not being driven legally, with most not having insurance, and the Commissioner has received numerous complaints from communities about the impact illegally driven vehicles are having where they live.
Mr Allott is now funding an awareness campaign to highlight these facts, and ensure anyone, of any age, who is using an e-scooter in public places realises they are breaking the law if their vehicle is not insured, not part of the TIER rental scheme or being driven under the influence of drink or drugs.
Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Philip Allott said: “"I am pleased there is a TIER hotline for people to report those suspected to be abusing their vehicles, and everyone riding one needs to know that all road traffic laws – from speeding to using mobile phones to careless driving – apply to all e-scooters too.
"North Yorkshire Police is also investing in training for neighbourhood policing teams to ensure they can protect members of the public from illegal e-scooters and other self-propelled two-wheel devices.
"Tackling these issues is a priority for many communities across York, and it is one of my priorities too.”
Over the coming weeks, members of the Roads Policing Group will be giving leaflets out to scooter retailers around York and elsewhere to ensure that their customers fully comply with the law, which prohibits private scooters on public roads, bike lanes and footpaths.
Sergeant Mark Patterson, from North Yorkshire Police, said: “Whilst there are many benefits to using e-scooters, it is important that they are used safely and within the law.
"They are classed as motor vehicles so require a driving licence and insurance to be used on the public roads.
"This also means that the rules covering drink/drug driving, traffic lights and signs must also be followed in the same way as if you were driving a car.
“If you are stopped by the police riding an uninsured e-scooter you could receive six points on your driving licence, a £300 fine and the scooter would be seized from you. If you are caught drink or drug driving, then you could be disqualified from driving for at least 12 months.
"The rules apply to children as well as adults, so please think carefully before purchasing one for your child.”
Anyone with concerns about privately-owned e-scooters can contact North Yorkshire Police by calling 101 while anyone with concerns about the TIER vehicles can contact their helpline on 0808 164 9486.
More information about the rules can be found at www.northyorkshire.police.uk/staying-safe/road-safety/e-scooters