In May, an Andover man was banned from holding a driving licence after he was caught using an e-scooter in the town centre: Ryan Humphreys banned from driving after e-scooter use | Andover Advertiser He admitted to not having insurance or a licence that allowed him to use the scooter, which is classed as a motor vehicle. In this article, we look at the complex law surrounding e-scooters, and what you should do if you are involved in an accident involving one.
Electric scooters are similar to a two wheeled manual scooter, except they use a small, electric motor to power the scooter. They are rising in popularity, with e-scooter rental trials currently happening across the UK as they are seen as a practical and eco-friendly mode of transport. The London Cycling Campaign (LCC) says e-scooters offer a “cleaner, low carbon alternative” for those who don’t want to cycle.
The only e-scooters that can be used on public roads are those that have been rented as part of a government-backed trial. Currently there are over 30 trial areas, including Bournemouth, Buckinghamshire and Cambridge. As there is no specific law for e-scooters, they are recognised as ‘powered light electrical vehicles (PLEVs)’ and fall under the same laws and regulations as motor vehicles, requiring them to have MOT, tax, number plates and licensing. They are illegal for spaces used by pedestrians, cyclists, and horse-riders, which includes the pavement and cycle lanes. Any person riding an e-scooter on a public road or prohibited space, is committing a crime.
As with any motor vehicle, it is important to know the law and relevant safety precautions before operating an e-scooter. Currently, if you are caught breaking the e-scooter rental rules or caught using an electric scooter on a public road, you could face a £300 fine and six points on your licence. Your e-scooter may also be seized. For new drivers who are caught using e-scooters as an alternative to a car on a public road, you could lose your driving licence.
According to the Metropolitan Police, crashes involving e-scooters in London are on the rise, with illegal usages meaning a lot of the accidents go unreported. In 2019, YouTuber and TV Presenter, Emily Hartridge, died from multiple traumatic injuries when her e-scooter collided with a lorry. No one has been arrested for her death. (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-53823514). In May this year, a 78 year-old woman in Ely suffered serious injuries when she has hit by an e-scooter which failed to stop (Woman, 78, injured by e-scooter in Wisbech hit-and-run | Ely Standard).
If you have been involved in an accident involving an e-scooter you should treat it in the same way you would a car or cycling accident. It is vital that you contact and notify the police as soon as possible, take details of anyone involved and any witnesses who saw the accident. Photograph the scene, damage and injuries and request CCTV footage where possible. If you have been injured by the negligent behaviour of an e-scooter rider, as a pedestrian or a driver, you should be able to make a claim for compensation. Typical injuries can include bruising, bumps, and even whiplash. In the more serious collisions, injuries can be more severe and in cases such as Emily Hartridge’s, fatal. In you were injured whilst driving an e-scooter because of negligence by another person (pedestrian or driver) then you may be able to make a claim for compensation. Under the current trials in the UK, e-scooters must have a motor vehicle insurance policy. If an accident involved a privately owned e-scooter without insurance, the victim may not be able to recover compensation and the e-scooter rider may have to find financial assets to cover the claim. To speak to a personal injury solicitor regarding your e-scooter accident, contact us today: T: 01264 355477 E: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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