Arrests have been made for abuse of the new e-scooters in Newcastle, which are now being shut down overnight for serious safety reasons.
New restrictions are being placed on EVs after complaints have been raised that they are being driven illegally and irresponsibly.
City council traffic supervisor Graham Grant confirmed to councilors Thursday afternoon that all scooters would turn off between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. – and announced that police had made a series of arrests the previous night.
Northumbria police later confirmed that they had arrested seven people in the early hours of Thursday morning.
Of these, six men have now been charged – five for driving a motor vehicle over the legal limit and the other for not presenting a sample. The other arrested person was released without further action.
The six men charged, between the ages of 19 and 22, are due to appear in North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on March 25.
The five people charged with driving a motor vehicle while it is beyond the legal limit are:
- Joseph Vesey, 22, from Devonshire Place, Jesmond
- William Mcmullen, 19 years old, from Falconer Street in Newcastle
- Jamie Swain, 21 years old, from Bayswater Road in Jesmond
- George Richardson, 20 years old, from Stepney Lane, Newcastle
- William Attridge, 19 years old, from Stepney Lane, Newcastle
Rian Dunne, 20, of Cavendish Place in Jesmond was accused of failing to provide a copy.
On the subject of matching items
On the subject of matching items
One person has already been banned from using the Neuron e-scooters and at least four other people are currently under investigation, Grant said at a meeting of the council’s review and review committee.
Townspeople and city councilors have raised concerns about the e-scooters this week, including complaints about them speeding up and down Sandyford Road at 4 a.m.
Other issues addressed included people illegally driving sidewalks or driving two people to a scooter, as well as children driving them when restricted to those aged 18 and over who have at least a provisional driver’s license.
Mr Grant said, “There have been problems and, for example, last night people and their behavior were arrested on the scooters in a certain area of the city. In response, we spoke to the police and from this evening onwards, e-scooters won’t be switched on or can no longer be used between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
“It will stay that way until the lockdown ends and we will keep checking it.”
More than 10,000 trips have been made on the e-scooters since it launched in the city on Feb. 16, while nearly 200 NHS or rescue workers have accepted the offer of free tickets for the vehicles while the country remains closed.
A Neuron spokesperson confirmed the 11pm cut-off time and said: “The vast majority of Newcastle drivers behave responsibly and use the service as intended, but there are always exceptions.
“All of our drivers sign a comprehensive list of driving rules before they are allowed to start their first trip. They point out that they must be over 18 years old, have a driver’s license and that only one person is allowed to drive an e-scooter at a time. The rules are clear when it comes to not driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances and of course you will receive instructions on where and how to park and drive.
“The driving rules are displayed in the app, which the drivers see at the start of every journey. There’s also voice guidance to remind people of some of the most important points, and even stickers on the e-scooters with the main advantages and disadvantages. We also have safety ambassadors on site in Newcastle who reinforce the driving rules and pass on safety guidelines. “
“In the early days of a trial, it is important to see how the e-scooters are used and understand what works and what can be improved. We work closely with Newcastle City Council and have already adapted the service quickly. We will continue to make improvements to ensure that e-scooters can integrate into the city in the best possible and safe way.
“An example of this is that we have already introduced a curfew for the entire city, which will immobilize all of our e-scooters between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. during the entire lockdown. All of our e-scooters are “connected” and we can turn them off remotely so this is easy to implement. We are also continuously evaluating our slow zones and exclusion zones and will adjust these over time based on feedback from drivers and the wider community. “