Both Newcastle and Sunderland are trialling e-scooters in Government-backed rental schemes.
However, how many riders actually know the laws that govern their use? A recent study found that e-scooters are five times safer for riders than bicycles.
To keep riders safe from the law they are being urged to keep up to date on laws and regulations to avoid penalty points, driving bans and in some cases, jail time.
Read more: E-scooter use up nine per cent across Newcastle and Sunderland as fuel prices reach all-time high
Currently, there isn’t a specific law for e-scooters so they are recognized as ‘powered transporters’ and fall under the same laws and regulations as motor vehicles, and subject to all the same legal requirements – MOT, tax, licensing and specific construction.
Because e-scooters don’t always have visible rear red lights, number plates or signaling ability, they can’t be used legally on roads. Private e-scooters can only be used on private land and not on public roads, cycle lanes or pavements.
The only e-scooters that can be used on public roads are those that are rented as part of government-backed trials like in Newcastle and Sunderland.
The users of these e-scooters are being warned not to drink and ride as the weather is getting warmer and nights out last longer.
Riders of an e-scooter under the influence of drugs or alcohol will receive the same punishment as those driving a car under the influence. This could land riders a prison sentence, a driving ban and a hefty fine.
If you’re coming back from the pub after having a drink or two, get a lift, taxi, or even walk, rather than hiring and riding an e-scooter. Otherwise riders may face the following sanctions.
* 2 years’ imprisonment, 3-11 penalty points, and an unlimited fine for dangerous driving
* Driving disqualification, 3-9 penalty points, and an unlimited fine for careless and inconsiderate driving
* Driving disqualification, 3-11 penalty points, an unlimited fine, and 6 months imprisonment for driving under the influence of drink or drugs
* Unlimited fine and 6 months imprisonment for driving while disqualified
* A £1,000 fine and driving disqualification for using a hand-held mobile phone when driving
To avoid these fines or penalty points, GoodByeCar has pulled together some tips on what not to do when on an e-scooter.
Driving carelessly can seem rather ambiguous and difficult to understand, but in simple terms, it means driving in a way without reasonable consideration for others who may be inconvenienced by you. While riding an e-scooter, these behaviors could be considered an offense by the Highway Code
* Tail gating
* Dangerously overtaking and merging
* Using the wrong lane at a roundabout
* Overtaking on the left side of the lane
* Eating or drinking while riding
* Weaving through traffic
Doing any of the above could result in up to 9 penalty points, a substantial fine, and a driving ban.
To be eligible to ride an e-scooter, you must either have the category Q, AM, A, or B entitlement on your full or provisional license. If you’re banned from driving, then you’re ineligible to ride an e-scooter and can face prison time and a large fine.
Just like driving a car, riders are forbidden from using their phones. This is even if you’re at a red light or in standstill traffic. If you need to use your phone, pull over where it is safe, and get off the bike or scooter.
If you’re caught using your phone while riding, you can face a £1,000 fine and a driving ban. Riding e-scooters on pavements is an offense (this applies to all powered transporters).
While riding, make sure you’re on the road and abide by rules you would if you were driving a car, for example, stopping at a red light and positioning yourself in the correct lane when approaching a roundabout.