Out of date legislation, scoot over

Convenience-culture and heightened environmental awareness have ushered in the era of zero-carbon electric scooters. Department of Transport sanctioned  trial rental schemes started in 2020 and are running in selected areas across country. The fleets of branded e-scooters zipping across British cities and towns reflect the significant shift away from public transport to ensure social distancing, and from driving or taxis, to live a greener lifestyle.

Whilst the e-scooter rental schemes are seeing success, many unknowing commuters have bought their own e-scooter or micro-mobility device and have found themselves facing a fine of £300 and six points on their driving licence. Although rental e-scooters may be lawfully ridden on public roads , private e-scooters can not.

Private e-scooters are classed as “motor vehicles” under the Road Traffic Act 1988. This means users need appropriate insurance and the correct driving licence classification to ride; neither of which actually exists! This legislative lag has means that private e-scooter users, many of whom purchased their e-scooter in good faith  hoping to embark on a more convenient, greener, and covid-friendly commute every morning, instead face the prospect of  prosecution.

BSB Solicitors have been instructed by the E-Scooter Defence Fund, a community of micro-mobility enthusiasts, to challenge the current legislative position on e-scooters. This campaign recognises that the law is falling behind the rapidly changing tastes in transportation and needs to be updated to regulate electric micro-mobility devices by maintaining road safety standards and promoting zero-carbon targets.

If you are being, or have been, prosecuted for the use of a private e-scooter or micro-mobility device, we would like to hear from you.

Find out more about the E-Scooter Defence Fund here.