1:32 PM September 5, 2022
A publicity blitz and education campaign aimed at teenagers have been launched to highlight the risks of illegally riding e-scooters, following a rise in complaints.
Widely sold and increasingly popular, especially among young people, e-scooters have become a common sight across Norfolk.
Three teens seen riding an e-scooter on Hall Road in Norwich
– Credit: Submitted
But the only e-scooters that can be ridden on the road are those hired as part of government approved trials which have safety features such as speed limits of 15.5mph and automatic lights.
In Norfolk there are currently two rental pilot schemes: Ginger in Great Yarmouth and Beryl in Norwich, recently expanded to take in Wymondham.
The issue of increasing numbers of children seen on scooters being used illegally was raised by Norfolk police and crime commissioner Giles Orpen-Smellie at his latest accountability meeting, following concerns being raised by King’s Lynn residents.
Norfolk chief constable Paul Sanford
– Credit: Norfolk Constabulary
Chief Constable Paul Sanford said: “There is public confusion of what you can and cannot do with the use of scooters, particularly in Norwich.
“Trials are taking place where people can hire scooters which can be legally driven on roads whereas privately owned scooters cannot.”
The meeting heard that standard practice was for officers to stop offenders to check if they have been stopped before.
If warnings have been ignored, enforcement will take place.
Riders could receive a fixed penalty notice for no insurance, with a £300 fine and six penalty points; a fixed penalty notice for no driving licence, and up to £100 fine and three-six penalty points.
Other offenses which may result in penalties include riding on the footpath, using a mobile phone, riding through red lights and drink driving.
Last month a teenager was charged with drink driving in connection with a crash involving an e-scooter in Norwich.
Meanwhile in June a 16-year-old girl riding an e-scooter received six points on her future driving license and was hit with a £300 fine for “using a motor vehicle on a road or public place without third party insurance”.
Mr Sanford said an advertising campaign by police and councils aimed to increase awareness had been launched to educate people on the use of scooters.
Police and Norfolk County Council’s trading standards had also been involved with the launch of an education program targeted at 15 to 19-year-olds.
The number of e-scooters in Norwich is to double from 250 to 500 – and they will also be available in Wymondham, Hethersett and Drayton.
– Credit: KATE WOLSTENHOLME
Earlier this year the government proposed approving more e-scooter models for use on public roads.
However regulations could set speed limits and requirements for lights and helmets as part of creating a new category for small zero-emissions vehicles.
So what ARE the rules on e-scooters?
- Privately owned e-scooters are only legal to use on private land. You cannot get insurance to ride these in public spaces. This means they cannot be ridden on roads, pavements or any public space.
- In Norfolk, only the authorized ‘Beryl’ or ‘Ginger’ branded scooters are part of ongoing trials and can legally be used in public.
- If you are caught riding an e-scooter in a public place, you could have your e-scooter seized. Costs to recover an e-scooter are £150 plus £10 a day storage fee. You could also face up to six penalty points on your license and a fine of £300.
- Police have powers to stop users for careless or dangerous driving, as well as drug-driving and drink-driving. You risk prosecution, a fine and/or penalty points on your license.