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Herts Road Safety Partnership warns about buying e-scooters this Christmas

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Hertfordshire’s road safety body has issued a Christmas present warning about electric scooters.

It remains illegal to use them other than on private land with the owner or occupier’s permission. Anyone using an e-scooter on any public road, pavement or cycle path risks having it seized by the police and could face penalty points and a fine.

The warning has come from the county's Road Safety Partnership, which includes Herts Highways and the county's police force, fire and rescue service, public health and trading standards.

E-scooter (53764536)
E-scooter (53764536)

Cllr Phil Bibby, the executive member for highways and transport at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “For many people this year, e-scooters will be high on their Christmas list. However, it is vital that people are aware before purchasing one that they are illegal to ride on Hertfordshire’s roads, pavements and cycle paths.

“If residents are looking into sustainable travel, I would recommend they consider other options, such as electric bikes, pedal cycles and walking."

Chief Inspector Simon Tabert, of Hertfordshire Constabulary, said: “E-scooters actually fall within the legal definition of a motor vehicle, meaning they are subject to the same laws that apply to other vehicles – including driving dangerously or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

“E-scooters are often seen as a safe and convenient mode of transport and viewed as being on a par with a bicycle or scooter, but this is absolutely not the case. They are high-powered vehicles and can be incredibly dangerous.

"We want to ensure that children and parents understand the danger these machines pose to both the rider and pedestrians. Often, riders don’t wear a safety helmet and some of these e-scooters reach speeds of up to 40mph, so it’s not hard to imagine what the result could be in the event of a collision.”

Trials of shared e-scooter rental schemes are taking place across the UK, however none is currently in operation in Hertfordshire.

These licensed trials allow individuals to hire an e-scooter from an official scheme and ride it legally. Individuals must be 16 or over and have a full or provisional car, motorcycle or moped licence. The Government recommends users wear a helmet, but it’s not a legal requirement. The trials continue into 2022, when it is expected the Government will provide clear and comprehensive legislation on the future use of e-scooters.

In addition to the restrictions on use, Hertfordshire Trading Standards has highlighted the importance of buying from reputable businesses. Buyers should check that the product is marked with the UKCA or CE mark, the name and full address of the manufacturer (or an authorised representative in the UK) and reference to BS EN 17128:2020.

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