Inspector Emma Bullock explains the law relating to the use of e-scooters.
E-scooters have become an increasingly common sight in Essex with four areas – Basildon, Chelmsford, Colchester and Clacton – taking part in a government trial looking at more environmentally-friendly ways to travel.
If you’re planning to hire or buy an e-scooter, there are laws regulating when and where they can be used.
I’ve bought an e-scooter, can I ride it on public roads?
No. You cannot ride a privately-owned e-scooter in public. If you do so, you could face a fine, get penalty points on your licence and have your e-scooter impounded.
So where are all the e-scooters I’m seeing in my town coming from?
They are part of the government trial are available to hire if you meet the criteria.
Do I need a driving licence to hire an e-scooter?
Yes. To hire an authorised e-scooter, you need to be over 18 and have a provisional or full driving licence.
I’ve hired one of the government e-scooters, where can I ride it?
You may use a trial e-scooter on the road (except motorways) and in cycle lanes.
Can I ride it on the pavement?
Do I need insurance?
E-scooters must have motor insurance but you do not need to arrange this as this will be provided by your e-scooter rental operator.
Can I drink alcohol and ride an e-scooter?
You should not ride an e-scooter while drunk or otherwise intoxicated. You may be prosecuted under drink or drug driving laws as careless and dangerous driving offences also apply to users of e-scooters.
Do I have to wear a helmet?
Helmets are recommended but are not a legal requirement.
Aren’t you just out to spoil everyone’s fun?
Not at all. E-scooters are classed as motorised vehicles and are subject to the same laws. We want all e-scooter riders to use the vehicles safely and stay within the law.