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E-scooters are not a toy alternative to a taxi after a night out, Essex Police warn Christmas and New Year revellers

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An e-scooter is not an alternative to a taxi after a night out, police in Essex are warning Christmas and New Year revellers.

As part of the force's festive campaign against drink- and drug-driving, it is urging people not to get caught out and to know the law before they hop on one this holiday season.

Up until the end of November, Essex Police had seized 347 privately-owned e-scooters because they were being ridden illegally.

Insp Matt Crow, from the roads policing unit, warned: “If you’re riding a privately-owned e-scooter in a public area, my officers will stop you because, put simply, they’re illegal.

"The only legal e-scooters on Essex roads are orange-branded Spin e-scooters which are part of the trial administered by Essex County Council on behalf of the Government."

He added: "An e-scooter is not a toy – please don’t take one for a ride if you’ve been drinking. And if my officers suspect you’ve been drinking before riding any e-scooter, including the Spin e-scooters, you could be arrested for drink-driving.

“Don’t think an e-scooter will be a cheap ride home after a night out, it won’t be – it could cost you your licence and your livelihood.

“And the nearer it gets to Christmas, don’t leave your family wondering if you’re coming home, if you’re in custody or, worse still, not coming home at all," said Insp Crow.

“This Christmas, make their present your presence. Just don’t drink and drive.”

It is legal to buy an e-scooter as a Christmas gift but there are limits on where it can be ridden. A privately-owned e-scooter can only be used on private land with the landowner’s permission; it’s illegal to ride them on public roads, pavements or cycle paths.

Only e-scooters that form part of any of the Essex trials are permissible on the road in the trial areas only. Anyone who uses a rental e-scooter must adhere to the Highway Code and road traffic laws, including drink- or drug-driving laws.

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