Police issue fresh warning to e-scooter riders and owners

Posted On 02 Jan 2022 at 9:33 am

Police have issued a fresh warning to electric scooter riders and owners that their e-scooters could be seized if they ride them in public.

Sussex Police said: “E-scooter riders and owners are being reminded that their vehicles could be seized if they are seen riding in a public place in Sussex.

“Sussex Police are issuing this warning to those who may have received an electric scooter as a Christmas gift to ensure owners are aware of the law about using them.

“It follows the convictions of two electric scooter riders in recent weeks – and those considering using them are being advised to make sure they stay within the law.

“E-scooters are classed as a powered vehicle, which means they are subject to the same laws as motor vehicles, but at the present time it is not possible to register, insure or tax the vehicles for use on the road.

“Sussex Police’s renewed advice follows increasing public concern about road safety, with frequent reports of e-scooters riding on pavements and crime reports linked to e-scooters.

“Earlier this month, 31-year-old Carl Bond was convicted after he was seen acting suspiciously while riding an e-scooter by police in Seaside Road, Eastbourne, on Monday 6 September.

“He was arrested on suspicion of possession of cannabis, using a motor vehicle without insurance, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and driving while disqualified.

“On Wednesday 15 December he appeared before Brighton Magistrates’ Court where he was sentenced for all four charges.

“The court told Bond, of Saxby Close, Eastbourne, his e-scooter has been seized and ordered him to do 200 hours of unpaid work and 30 rehabilitation activity requirement sessions.

“He must also pay an £85 fine and was disqualified from driving for a further six months.

“Meanwhile, Sussex Police also reported how George Vakis, 19, of Thakeham Close, Bexhill, was sentenced to one year of detention in a young offender institution after he admitted wounding an officer while riding an e-scooter.”

Chief Inspector Michael Hodder said: “These cases are a reminder that owners of e-scooters can face being arrested by our officers if they are seen riding in public places.

“E-scooters are becoming more widely available to purchase and, although it is illegal to ride a privately purchased e-scooter in public, they are not illegal to purchase.

“Many people may have bought one as a gift for Christmas.

“Riders are subject to the same laws a motorist would need to drive lawfully on the road, including the requirement to have a valid licence, insurance, registration plates and vehicle licensing – and to have the correct registration.

“E-scooters are illegal because there are currently no legal ways to register, insure or tax them.”

Sussex Police added: “Officers have the power to seize vehicles under section 165 of the Road Traffic Act.

“Across the country there are ‘Future Transport’ trials taking place, with the aim of gaining further insight into the environmental, health and safety benefits of these types of vehicles.

“Currently there are no areas in Sussex taking part in these trials and e-scooters remain illegal to use on public roads.”

Chief Inspector Hodder added: “Please make sure you keep and use your e-scooter on private land only, with the owner’s permission, to ensure this does not happen to you.”

  1. Ann Cooper Reply

    These can be seen in every town on every day so they know the likelihood of being caught is very low. Perhaps a committed all out two weeks or so of relentless police crackdowns may just get the message across

  2. Dave Reply

    This is an almost weekly announcement by Sussex police and quite frankly they really have got better things to be getting on with then hassling normal citizens wanting to commute to work in a green cheap and sustainable way. By focusing and publishing a narrative that they are the vehicle of choice of drug dealers… When we all know its still a Beemer 3 series is just lacking in imagination and most people can see though such nonsense.

    They will be made legal this year anyway so please for the love of God, go and spend some time actually catching criminals.

    If the newspapers reported every time a car driver committed an offence in Brighton, well I doubt you’d be able to keep up.

  3. Chris Reply

    Like I have said before – I have no issue with these as long as they are speed restricted, and insured, and on the road. They have no place on the pavement. In the 12 months to June 2021 931 people were injured in London using E-scooters (private and rental). (source: DfT) They are a scourge to people who are hard of hearing or visually impaired. Things that go at 15 MPH (the suggested legal limit) do not belong on a pavement.
    In addition TfL has now banned them from their buses, tubes, trams etc as they have been catching fire (TfL news 9th Dec).

    • John Reply

      what about the hundreds of thousands of vehicle crashes on roads which are much more dangerous and produce CO2 emissions? There is a risk with everything and I believe the risks are minimal for an e-scooter as an alternative to a car.

  4. AD Milford Reply

    if they can’t tax it, they close it down…

  5. Damo Reply

    I’ve just got mine taken away for me and slapped with a £150 confiscation and recovery charge, £300 for driving without insurance and 6 points on my licence! I’ve had a completely clean driving and accident record for nearly 25 years and now I’m half way to a ban because of that! They’re no more dangerous then an ebike and generally weigh less even if technically they’re illegal because someone somewhere has made the dubious decision to shoe-horn them in to the motor vehicle category while leaving ebikes as bikes (even though they’re potentially more of a danger to the public). There’s very little logic behind enforcing this law as it currently stands. I always ride sensibly but I was accused of jumping a red light on Lewes road which I didn’t do and basically seemed to boil down to a misunderstanding by the officer because I was following the cycle lane like all the escooters do and I’d gone through the light when the cycle lane light was green which happens about 5 seconds before the main traffic light. He later admitted he wasn’t 100% sure I actually jumped the light at all but still gave me all that. I was absolutely stunned. He appeared to be an out-of-town traffic officer from Arundel just brought in for Pride weekend. Some basic guidance would have been enough for someone like me considering I had never been stopped on the escooter by the police before, possibly the £150 fine at most if the police wanted to be seen to be doing something. I’ve never been in trouble with the police before in my life either so this really has left a bad taste in my mouth and changed my perception of the police in really quite a negative way. They’re supposed to be fair and serve the public, not looking for any oportunity to jump in with both feet with this bullying sledgehammer approach. It basically seemed as though the officer was just heading out of town after the Pride parade and was perhaps disappointed not to have been able to bust someone so just looked for the slightest excuse… Not impressed at all. I’m considering making some sort of challenge or plea in court so if anyone has any solid advice please email me on damo@xcyte.co.uk (damo at xcyte dot co dot uk) – thanks!

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