Everything you need to know about using an e-scooter in Horsham

E-scooters are widely available for sale and often seen on our roads and pavements, but you could be fined for using one, given penalty points or have your scooter seized.

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 8:47 am
Updated Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 8:50 am

Sussex Police has reminded people that the vehicles are not currently legal for use in public here, and has issued the following guidance to anyone considering buying or using one.

What is an e-scooter?

Electrical scooters (also known as e-scooters) come under the category of “powered transporters”. This also covers a range of other personal transport devices which are powered by a motor. “Powered transporters” fall within the legal definition of a motor vehicle under the Road Traffic Act 1988. Therefore, the rules that apply to motor vehicles, also apply to e-scooters. As a motor vehicle, they must comply with various pieces of Road Traffic Legislation, including but not limited to:

E-scooters are only legal for use as part of government-run trials in a handful of places including parts of London and Portsmouth

- driving with a licence

- driving/riding with insurance

- driving/riding other than on a road

- need to be taxed

It is not currently possible to get appropriate insurance for privately owned e-scooters, meaning it is illegal to use them on the road or in public spaces.

Rental e-scooter trials

Trials of rental e-scooters are taking place in the UK. Any person who uses a rental e-scooter on a public road or other public space, must comply with the relevant Road Traffic Legislation or they face potential prosecution.

Legal use of an e-scooter

It is legal to use an e-scooter on private land with the permission of the land owner.

In areas where a trial rental scheme is running, it is legal to use a rental e-scooter on a public road or cycle lane.

Enforcement

The most appropriate action for the circumstances will be given, these include:

- a Fixed Penalty Notice for no insurance, with a £300 fine and six penalty points

- a Fixed Penalty Notice for no driving licence, up to £100 fine and three to six penalty points

Rider behaviour

Police will also take action against rider behaviour, whether private or rental. Offences could include:

- riding on the footway: Fixed Penalty Notice and possible £50 fine

- using a mobile phone: £100 and six penalty points

- riding through red lights: Fixed Penalty Notice, £100 fine and possible penalty points

- drink driving offences: As with driving cars; court imposed fines, driving ban and possible imprisonment

If you are using an e-scooter in public in an anti-social manner, you can also risk the e-scooter being seized under section 59 of the Police Reform Act.

Police would always recommend to wear safety protection such as a helmet when riding these vehicles, and to keep to the speed limit.