Electric Scooters and Bikes - The Rules
Posted on 2nd September 2020 at 14:46
Electric scooters are road-legal, but only if it is one rented as part of a government trial hire scheme.
The Department for Transport has given the MK Council a green light to bring e-scooters to MK so they can be trialled as an alternative to short car journeys across the borough.
Around 300 e-scooters will be available from 24th August. They can be used on MK’s 250km of Redways, as well as on minor estate roads. E-scooters are not permitted and roads where the speed limit is over 30mph.
Since July 4, it has been legal to ride a trial scooter on roads, cycle paths and cycle lanes but NOT on footways [the pavement].
To hire a trial e- scooter:
• You must have a full, or at least a provisional driving license category Q.
• Be at least 16 years old.
• Have motor insurance, but you do not need to arrange this; this will be provided by your e-scooter rental operator.
• Limit the speed to a maximum 15.5mph,
• A cycle helmet is recommended but not compulsory.
• It should be bused by one person at a time.
• You must not use a mobile phone when using an e-scooter.
• You must not tow anything using an e-scooter.
Otherwise the law is quite clear: NO E-SCOOTING ALLOWED.
If you own an electric scooter yourself, it is NOT LEGAL to ride it anywhere except private land, with permission from the landowner. By section 72, Highway Act 1835 it is an offence to ride on, or to lead or draw a carriage on a pavement. This rule applies almost all vehicles, with special legal exceptions for mobility scooters and wheelchairs. If you are stopped by police, you could receive a £300 fixed penalty notice, plus six points on your driving licence (if you have one) and the e-scooter could be impounded.
By contrast, pedal-assisted electric bikes are treated the same as ordinary bicycles, and do not have to be registered, taxed, or insured. You must be at least 14 years old to ride one though, and the motor must have a maximum power output of 250 watts. The motor should not be able to propel the bike when it is travelling at more than 15.5mph. Any e-bike that does not fall into those rules is treated as an electric motorbike or moped.
Mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs are divided into two types:
Class two, which cannot be used on the road and have a maximum speed of 4mph,
Class three, which can be used on the road and have a top speed of 8mph.
Class three vehicles must be registered and can only be driven by someone 14 or older. Only one person is allowed ride on a mobility scooter.
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