Dorset Police seize e-scooters and issue warnings

A surge in the illegal use of e-scooters on roads and pavements has prompted Dorset Police to take action over the summer.

Dorset Police say they have seized 25 e-scooters over the summer for being ridden on public land or having been involved in suspected criminal activity.

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While the popularity of electric-powered scooters has risen, it is only legal to use them on private land with the landowner’s permission.

Seized for having no insurance

Of the 25 e-scooters seized, 14 were confiscated for being used in criminality, while 11 e-scooters were seized for having no insurance.

In total since the beginning of the year, more than 40 riders of privately owned e-scooters, including users in Purbeck, have been stopped and spoken to before being issued with warnings.

An e-scooter
Purbeck Police

The rider of this e-scooter was stopped in Northmoor Way in Wareham and issued with a warning

“Complaints about improper use have increased”

Inspector Craig Tatton of the Dorset Police roads policing unit said:

“E-scooters have become a real issue for some local residents and complaints about improper use have increased among our communities.

“We are also seeing more people riding them as a result of the government trials taking place. However, it still remains illegal to ride a privately owned e-scooter on any public land including pavements, roads and promenades.

“Riders could be committing an offence under the Road Traffic Act 1988 and, if used on the pavement, the Highway Act 1835. In short, unless you’ve hired the e-scooter through a government approved trial scheme you are not allowed to ride it on public land.

“We’ve spoken to lots of people to explain the rules around e-scooters and the dangers they can pose to pedestrians and other road users. Generally people were understanding and appreciated the advice they were given.”

An e-scooter
Purbeck Police

The rider of this e-scooter was stopped by Purbeck Police as part of an anti-social behaviour patrol and was issued with a warning

“Dangerous to both themselves and pedestrians”

Police and crime commissioner for Dorset, David Sidwick said:

“I’m very glad to see Dorset Police taking the issue of illegal use of e-scooters so seriously.

“I believe that if used properly and responsibly, e-scooters could be a transformative mode of transport, but sadly many people still use them in a way that is dangerous to both themselves and pedestrians.”

Inspector Tatton added:

“We are here to support our communities and we don’t want to stop anyone enjoying the summer, but we do want to make sure people aren’t causing problems for others or committing an offence.

“Riders could face a fine, penalty points on their licence or even disqualification from driving, as well as having their e-scooters seized and destroyed.”

What are the rules for privately owned e-scooters?

  • The only place you can ride a privately-owned e-scooter is on private land with the landowner’s permission
  • It is against the law to ride an e-scooter on any public land. This includes roads, pavements, cycle lanes, beach promenades, bridleways, or any publicly accessible land such as parks and car parks
  • An e-scooter is classed as a powered transporter and they are treated as a motor vehicle and fall under the Road Traffic Act 1988. They are subject to the same legal requirements as motor vehicles. This includes MOT, tax, licensing, insurance, and specific construction regulations
  • If you are caught using an e-scooter on a public road, pavement, or other prohibited space you are committing a criminal offence and could be prosecuted
  • Your e-scooter could be seized, you could end up with a fine, penalty points or even disqualification from driving

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