In the UK, e-scooters are treated like any other motor vehicle under the Road Traffic Act and are subject to laws requiring them to be built and used safely, meaning that users need to have insurance, driving licences, number plates, and helmets. The law was not drafted with e-scooters in mind, and in practice users of e-scooters will find it a challenge to comply with these legal requirements. Offences relating to driving standards and speeding also apply. Ministers from the Department have written to micromobility retailers, and will do so again, reminding them of the law regarding the sale of e-scooters. It is in everyone’s interest that consumers can make properly informed decisions when buying these products about regulation and guidance being provided to retailers.
Electric cycles which can offer power assistance at speeds exceeding 15.5 mph, do not, in the Department’s opinion, comply with the relevant Regulations and therefore would also be considered to be a motor vehicle.
The law is very clear and there are existing penalties for improper use. Enforcement of offences relating to unlawful use of motor vehicles is an operational matter for individual Chief Officers of police in conjunction with local policing plans. They decide what offences may be appropriate in individual cases, taking into account the circumstances.