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E-Scooters and The Law

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E-Scooters and The Law

Nottinghamshire Police understand the public’s support for environmentally friendly modes of transport. We want to work with the public to make sure the roads are safe for everyone.

The UK Government is currently taking part in ‘Future Transport Zone’ trials for e-scooter hire, with a view to making them legal to use on the roads.

We understand that buying an e-scooter can be tempting, especially as you can get them from many popular retailers. However, the current law is clear on their use.

What is the law on privately owned e-scooters?

Currently in the UK, you can legally buy an e-scooter, but you cannot ride it on a public road, cycle lane or pavement. The only place it can be used is on private land.

E-scooters are classified as Personal Light Electric Vehicles (PLEVs), so they are treated as motor vehicles and subject to the same legal requirements as other vehicles, such as MOT, licencing, tax and insurance. As e-scooters don’t always have number plates, signalling ability or visible rear lights, they cannot be used legally on the roads.

How can I legally use an e-scooter in Nottinghamshire?

Nottingham City E-Scooter Trial

Nottingham City Council is taking part in a national trial which has seen more than 200 E-Scooters available within the city area for short and long term hire. The E-Scooters are being provided by WIND and only these E-Scooters are legal to ride during this trial. These E-Scooters are easily identifiable as being bright yellow and displaying the company logo.

Any one wanting to hire a E-Scooter under the trial must:

  • Be over 16 years old
  • A full or provisional UK licence for categories AM, A or B includes entitlement for category Q. If you have one of these licences, you can use an e-scooter
  • If you have a provisional licence, you do not need to show L plates when using an e-scooter

If you have an overseas driving licence, you can use an e-scooter if you

  • Have a valid full licence from an EU or European Economic Area (EEA) country (so long as this does not prohibit you from driving low-speed mopeds and motorcycles)
  • Have a valid full licence from another country that entitles you to drive a small vehicle (for example, cars, mopeds or motorcycles) and you have not been in the UK for more than 12 months
  • You cannot use an e-scooter if you have an overseas provisional licence, learner permit or equivalent

Insurance is provided when hiring through the rental operator.

The trial E-Scooters may be used on the road and in cycle lanes, but they must not be used on the pavement.

Traffic signs with the following cycle symbol apply to e-scooters (unless a sign is displayed prohibiting e-scooters from that particular cycle way)

Further information relating to the use of E-Scooters during the trial can be found below on the Transport Nottingham website.

What happens if I am stopped by the Nottinghamshire police?

The police will advise you on the law and may ask you to take your e-scooter home. They may, however, still penalise you depending on the seriousness of the offence. If caught riding an e-scooter, fines you may receive can include:

  • No insurance, with a £300 fine and six penalty points
  • Driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence, up to £100 fine and three-six penalty points
  • Other offences which may result in penalties include riding on the footpath, using a mobile phone, riding through red lights and drink driving offences

Section 59 of the Police Reform Act allows police to give road users a warning if they are reported to have used their vehicle in a manner which causes alarm, distress or annoyance. Police also have the powers to seize vehicles - please make sure you keep your e-scooter on private land so this doesn’t happen to you.

Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles

What are they?

A pedal cycle with an electrical motor with a maximum power output of 250 watts and not be able to propel the bike when it is travelling more than 15.5mph.

If a bike meets the EAPC requirements it is classed as a normal pedal bicycle. This means it can be ridden on cycle paths, on the roads (not motorways) and anywhere else that pedal bicycles are allowed. There is no requirement for a licence to ride and they don’t need to be registered, taxed or insured.  Rider must be 14 or over, Helmets are recommended, but not mandatory and no training is required.

Any electric bike that does not meet the EAPC rules is classed as a motorcycle or moped, which means there are different requirements for registration, taxation, licencing & PPE.