In the latest investigation by ITV news, retailers are found encouraging electric scooters and Hoverboards to be illegally ridden on UK Roads. An investigation led by ITV‘s Chris Choi and Hannah Kings shows how some sellers are encouraging buyers of electric scooters to break the law and illegally ride them on UK roads.
Currently, it is still illegal to use electric scooters and Hoverboards on UK roads or pavements. However, undercover filming exposes how some retailers of Hoverboard and electric scooters are advising customers to do it anyway.
Responding to the latest findings, safety group Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) says the government urgently needs new rules for Electric Scooters. These rules are not to further discourage electric scooter from being illegally ridden on UK Roads. Instead, they are to make them safer for those who are.
Many new Electric Scooter users see them as the answer to urban congestion and fumes. This is due to their electric nature and zero-emission. However, people who still ignore the law and choose to ride them illegally on UK roads can still face fines and penalty points on their licence.
Nonetheless, Hoverboard and Electric Scooter sales are booming. Buyers are frequently using electric scooters to commute to work and other places. To find out what businesses selling electric scooters are telling their customers, ITV used hidden cameras in various electric scooter retailers.
Electric Scooters Illegally Ridden on UK Roads
At the first Electric Scooter store that ITV News went to visit, the salesman was more than happy to recommend them for use on UK roads.
He said: “It is basically a bicycle and if you are going to ride it at 15 miles an hour then ride it on the road like a bicycle.
“Personally, I kind of make sure I’m well away from traffic. I almost use the pedestrian phase of traffic lights to make sure I’m well clear of traffic.”
Next, the seller had more ideas on how to fool the police for when electric scooters are being illegally ridden on UK roads. “I would say get this and go on the pavement, and you would easily look like it’s just a push one. Nobody would tell that it is electric but you can still use it as electric.”
A third retailer had tips on how to commute: “You just need to know that it’s illegal – still a grey area.
“We use it for commuting and if you use a model like that you should use on a cycle lane or bus lane or on the side of the road.”
New Rules on Electric Scooters & Hoverboards UK
Nick Lloyd, Road Safety Manager at accident prevention organisation ROSPA, told ITV News there is too much confusion on the status of Electric Scooters. His group wants the government to urgently create new up to date policies governing where and how Electric Scooters are to be used.
Road safety design standards are required, along with a detailed policy on wearing helmets and whether electric scooters and Hoverboards can be used in cycle lanes.
The Department for Transport told ITV News: “The government is considering the use of electric scooters… As part of a regulatory review, as announced in March.
“We are actively examining how they can be regulated for safe use on the road, in order to encourage innovative new forms of transport.”
Many other nations like Germany and France already have up to date electric scooters rules and policies. The UK is now playing catch-up with technology that is currently being widely used on our UK roads.
They may only travel at around 15 mph, but it looks like electric scooters have left the UK government far behind!
Electric Scooters: What Does The Law Say?
All Electric Scooters and Hoverboards can be used on private property. However, it is illegal to ride them on the road.
This includes riding Electric Scooters illegally in cycle lanes or tracks or on the pavement.
This is due to electric scooters and Hoverboards falling within the definition of a motor vehicle under UK law. Therefore, they are subject to laws requiring them to be built and used safely, including requirements for users to have insurance, driving licences, number plates, and helmets.
Offences relating to motor vehicles also apply, for example, speeding and dangerous driving offences.
Hoverboards and electric scooters are subject to all the requirements a motor vehicle is subject to – MOT, tax, licensing, plus construction and use.
The design of an e-scooter and Hovebroard makes these almost impossible to comply with. Therefore, by default, they are illegal on both public roads and pavements.
Users Still Riding Electric Scooters on UK Roads
Some users remain adamant they will continue to ride their electric scooters on UK roads regardless of their legality. ITV news interviewed Ellen Edgar who was was stopped by police for using her scooter on her commute across London. Now she just uses it for shorter trips.
However, she maintains that travelling by an environmentally conscious method is more important to her than staying within the law.
She told ITV News: “They’re not like a car or scooter, they’re not emitting any pollution.
“They’re just off a battery, so I just feel like getting around London and it’s not omitting all this bad air. That’s one of the reasons I’m using it at the moment because the environment is such an important thing to me.”
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