E-Scooters Favoured by Commuters Are NOT Legal


16 January 2020

By Elizabeth Bradshaw

E-scooters have risen in popularity over the past couple of years as a quick method to and from the train statin in the morning. 

But if you were planning to pop to the pub after work and then jump on your e-scooter home, think again.

The first person has officially been convicted of drink driving on one. A man believed to be the first person convicted of drink-driving on an electric scooter has been banned from driving for 16 months. The man rode his e-scooter while drunk and crashed into a moped injuring both the driver and pillion passenger.

He pleaded guilty to drink-driving and careless driving in London and must sacrifice his licence and was ordered to pay £3,367.96 in compensation to the two people injured. The legal limit is 80mg; the man was found to have 134 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood.

It offers a stark reminder that the popular travel-method for commuters to and from the station are actually illegal in the UK.

E-Scooters are rising in popularity – but they're not legal

The prices average from £150-500 and they can often travel up to 20MPH, with more complex and expensive models reaching even higher speeds. Such scooters are currently illegal to ride anywhere, other than on private land.

A City of London spokesperson said: 'He pleaded guilty to drink-driving and careless driving. We believe this to be the first prosecution of its kind.' London police and the Met have been clamping down on the use of e-scooters. Almost 100 people were caught illegally riding them in a single week last summer.

Can you use an e-scooter on the road or on the pavement?

The Department of Transport class e-scooters as 'powered transporters' and therefore, they meet the legal definition of a 'motor vehicle'. The Department of Transport state that e-scooters are classed as 'powered transporters' and meet the legal definition of a 'motor vehicle'. 

They must therefore meet a number of requirements in order to be used on the road, including having insurance and conforming to 'technical standards.' As they do not, they are considered illegal to use on roads in Britain. The Metropolitan Police has also said it is illegal to use e-scooters on the road and riders risk being fined or even having penalty points on their licence. 

Riders also risk having their e-scooters seized by police.

If you have been cautioned by the police for a motoring offence in Essex or have received a summons to appear in court, please contact Elizabeth Bradshaw on 01206 369889 or via e-mail.

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.