E-scooter laws: Where is it legal to ride them, what kind of e-scooter can you use on roads, punishments for breaking the law, speed limit, driving licence rules, helmets and insurance rules
CHRISTMAS has come and gone for another year – and perhaps you unwrapped a brand new E-scooter under the tree.
But there are some important things you need to know about the vehicles.
This includes where it is legal to ride them – and plenty of other key information.
To help deal with the confusion surround the vehicles, we’ve pulled together a handy guide to explain all you need to know about the laws regarding the use of them.
Here’s what you need to know:
Can you ride e-scooters on the road?
If you own your own private e-scooter it is against the law to use it on roads or cycle lanes.
However the rules differ when it comes to rental versions of the vehicles.
In certain trial areas, rental e-scooters can be used on the road (except motorways) and in cycle lanes.
You must not use an e-scooter on the pavement.
Where are the trial areas?
Portsmouth is one of the cities that has been running a trial for e-scooter
Can you use e-scooters on roads in Portsmouth?
If you are renting an e-scooter in Portsmouth, you can use them on the roads – you have to follow the instructions when you go to the rank to rent them.
But it is illegal to use your own private e-scooter on the road.
You can’t take a rented e-scooter on the motorway in Portsmouth.
What is the speed limit on e-scooters?
In the trial areas where the vehicles are allowed on roads and in cycle lanes, there is a maximum speed limit of 15.5mph.
Trial e-scooters are limited to this speed and in some areas e-scooters may be limited to a lower maximum speed.
Do you need a driving licence?
To use a rental e-scooter on the roads you must have the category Q entitlement on your driving licence.
A full or provisional UK licence for categories AM, A or B includes entitlement for category Q so, if you have one of these licences, you can use an e-scooter.
If you have a provisional licence, you do not need to show L plates when using an e-scooter.
If you have an overseas driving licence, you can use an e-scooter if you:
- have a valid full licence from an EU or European Economic Area (EEA) country (so long as this does not prohibit you from driving low-speed mopeds and motorcycles)
- have a valid full licence from another country that entitles you to drive a small vehicle (for example, cars, mopeds or motorcycles) and you entered the UK within the last 12 months.
What about insurance?
E-scooters must have motor insurance, but you do not need to arrange this; this will be provided by your e-scooter rental operator.
Do you need to wear a helmet?
You should wear a cycle helmet when using an e-scooter. Helmets are recommended but are not a legal requirement.
Make sure that your cycle helmet conforms to current regulations, is the correct size and is securely fastened.
Wear light-coloured or fluorescent clothing so that other road users can see you in daylight, poor light and in the dark.
Where can you use a private e-scooter?
It is currently illegal to use a private e-scooter on the roads and in cycle lanes in the UK currently.
The only place that you can only use them on private land with the permission of the land owner.
What are the punishments for breaking the law?
If you use an e-scooter illegally:
- you could face a fine
- you could get penalty points on your licence
- the e-scooter could be impounded
Have you noticed e-scooters on the roads in Portsmouth? Let us know in the comments below.