Concern over parents in Wales buying ‘illegal’ e-scooters as Christmas gifts
Police are warning that privately-owned e-scooters bought as Christmas gifts are illegal to ride on public roads, pavements, parks and cycle paths.
E-scooters can only be used on private land with the permission of the landowner. Anyone caught using them on public roads and paths risk being issued with a £300 fine, six penalty points on their driving licence and having the e-scooter seized.
Police are concerned that many parents keen on buying the e-scooters for their children do not know that they are recognised as powered transporters and fall within the legal definition of a motor vehicle under the Road Traffic Act 1998.
It is not currently possible to insure privately owned e-scooters which is a requirement for driving motor vehicles, meaning it is illegal to use them on the road or in public spaces.
Additionally, for any driver or motorcyclist that has passed their driving test in the last two years it could result in a driving disqualification and the need to re-take both the theory and practical driving test.
Dyfed-Powys Police has teamed up with partners Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Powys and Ceredigion councils, as well as Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, to get the message across before Christmas.
Chief Inspector Thomas Sharville, Specialist Operations Department, said that their “speed and silence” can pose a “significant danger” to other road users and pedestrians.
“Please consider a more suitable, and safer, gift for your loved ones,” he said.
“Retailers may be happy to sell one to you but it could be seized the moment you attempt to use it in a public place.”
Trials of rental e-scooters are taking place in some parts of England, but they should only be used within the local area hosting the trial. Only e-scooters rented through an approved trial scheme are legal to use on the road.
The police warning comes as the Met Police in London launched a Christmas crackdown, with more than 3,600 e-scooters seized in London.
Scotland Yard and Transport for London have written to businesses selling them in London reminding them of existing legislation and how they may be putting their customers at risk.
Commander Kyle Gordon, in charge of Roads Policing, said: “It is really unhelpful that retailers, fully aware of the risks they are creating for the public, continue to profit from selling machines illegal for use on public roads without sufficient explanation and guidance.”