E-Scooter Trials – Intoxicated Riders (2)

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 20th September 2021.

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Photo of Caroline Pidgeon Caroline Pidgeon Liberal Democrat

Recent research showed that e-scooter injuries were more likely to happen after riders had consumed alcohol. Please outline steps you are taking, with the Met and London boroughs, in addition to any safeguards e-scooter providers have in place, to ensure that intoxicated individuals are unable to rent e-scooters in the capital?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

E-scooters are classified as motor vehicles and therefore riding an e-scooter after consuming more than the prescribed limit of alcohol is an offence under the Road Traffic Act 1988, in the same way as it is an offence to drive any other motor vehicle under such influence. The Metropolitan Police Service deals with the enforcement of this offence against all drivers of motor vehicles and handles the prosecution of offenders, who will be required to attend court and can lead to an unlimited fine, driving ban and up to 6 months in prison.

Transport for London (TfL), MPS, the rental e-scooter operators and London boroughs collaborate on any rental e-scooter incidents and have regular meetings, including a periodic safety board. A key action as a result of this has been to focus on drink-riding messaging during specific peak times, such as in-app messaging reminding users that drink-riding is illegal and asking them to confirm that they haven’t been drinking before use.

As part of the process to select the trial operators, bidders were required to set out safeguards to deter or prevent intoxicated individuals from renting e-scooters. Please see my answer to question 2021/3589 for further detail on how the operators deter drink riding. TfL’s safety guidance on its website also strongly advises against intoxicated riding.