Tips for using e-scooters safely and legally

A man riding an e-scooter
2 minute read

Love them or hate them, e-scooters seem to be here to stay in our towns and cities. Many of us find them a quick, convenient and cheap way to get around. If you are tempted, make sure you know how to use e-scooters safely and legally.

Did you know?

  • It is illegal to ride privately owned e-scooters (that is any that are not part of a local authority scheme, such as Voi, TIER or Lime) on the public highway – that includes roads or pavements or cycle paths.
  • You cannot get insurance for privately owned e-scooters, so if you injure someone whilst riding one and the collision was your fault, you will be personally liable for any compensation payable.
  • If the police stop you when you’re riding an e-scooter on a public road or land, they may seize the e-scooter and you could be liable for prosecution for driving without insurance.
  • You must have a full or provisional (Category Q) driving licence and be over 16 to use rental e-scooters.
  • You could be liable to prosecution for allowing your child to ride an e-scooter, as they would be doing this otherwise than in accordance with a licence, or with no insurance.
  • You can receive Fixed Penalty Notice fines, penalty points and criminal convictions for driving offences on an e-scooter in the same way as if you were driving a car or any other motor vehicle, so for drink/drug driving, driving without insurance, running red lights and so on.
  • Research has shown that in a crash test designed to assess e-scooter safety, head impact on the ground occurred in almost every case and was often severe. It is not a legal requirement to wear a helmet when riding an e-scooter but it would be a sensible precaution to take.
  • The lithium batteries used in e-scooters can start incredibly ferocious fires if they are damaged or begin to fail. This is why many public transport providers, such as Transport for London and First Bus, ban e-scooters on their buses and trains.
  • Compared to bicycles or mopeds for example, e-scooters have smaller wheels which make it more difficult for riders to navigate irregular surfaces and obstacles. As rider you are more vulnerable to losing your balance on corners, or potholes. One study found that the most common reason for injuries due to e-scooters was loss of balance, kerbs, potholes and tram rails.
  • Many studies have found that alcohol was a significant factor in e-scooter accidents and injuries. It is also illegal to drink alcohol and use an e-scooter. Take a taxi home from the pub!

If you have been a victim of an e-scooter accident which was not your fault, and have suffered personal injury as a result, please contact our team of specialist personal injury lawyers for advice on seeking compensation.

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