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Police move to clarify laws on e-scooter use

Anyone considering buying an electric scooter this Christmas is being urged to understand the law before doing so. E-scooters have become commonplace in towns and cities this year, after the Government permitted the start of trials for rental schemes in July.

However, while the use of rental e-scooters is now legal, police forces are keen to remind people that it remains against the law to ride a privately owned e-scooter in any public place in the UK. This includes roads, pavements, parks, town centres or canal towpaths.

The only place a privately owned e-scooter can be used is on private land.

This is because e-scooters are classified as Personal Light Electric Vehicles (PLEVs) so they are treated as motor vehicles. As such, if they are used on a road, pavement or public place they are subject to the same legal requirements as any motor vehicle.

MPC Andy Bennett, road casualty reduction officer with Devon and Cornwall Police, said: “We understand that e-scooters are very tempting for Christmas presents, but we would urge people to fully understand the law first.

“If our officers find anyone using e-scooters in a public place, the scooter will be seized, and the rider reported for any offences.

“I would also urge anyone using an e-scooter legally – i.e. on private land – to carefully consider their safety before doing so. “All riders should wear a helmet, younger riders particularly, would benefit from additional protective clothing such as knee and elbow pads to minimise injury.”