E-Scooter Trials – Intoxicated Riders (1)

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 15th October 2021.

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Photo of Caroline Pidgeon Caroline Pidgeon Liberal Democrat

Can you confirm whether all three e-scooter companies taking part in the London e-scooter trials have safeguards and software to deter or prevent intoxicated individuals from renting e-scooters?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

All three e-scooter rental companies operating in London have safeguards and software to deter or prevent intoxicated individuals from renting their e-scooters. A key safeguard is requiring and verifying users’ driving licence status. Requiring a valid licence restricts use of rental e-scooters only to people legally permitted to do so.

E-scooters are classified as motor vehicles, so it is an offence under section 5 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 to exceed the prescribed limit on the consumption of alcohol when driving these vehicles. A drink driving offence is dealt with in court and can lead to an unlimited fine, driving ban and up to 6 months in prison. Transport for London and the e-scooter rental companies work with the police to provide assistance, and this is aided by the license verification, which helps identify a rider even if they fail to stop, as well as identify their license status and any previous motoring offences.

Software-based measures that safeguard against riding whilst under the influence of alcohol include in-app messaging during night-time and unsociable hours, reminding users that such riding is illegal and asking the rider to confirm that they are within legal limits before use. All operators have mandatory in-app training for first-time riders, which contains education to deter riding under the influence of alcohol. There is also extensive messaging as part of operators’ marketing campaigns to deter intoxicated riding as well as safety campaigns and on-street events.