Wednesday 17 July 2024
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Warning after 37 arrests for ‘drink and drug riding’ on e-scooters

Police are warning people they could lose their driving licence if they ride e-scooters when under the influence of alcohol.

E-scooters are classed as motor vehicles under the Road Traffic Act 1988. As such, riding e-scooters whilst over the driving limit for alcohol is against the law.

Between January 2021 and May 2022, police in Nottinghamshire arrested 30 people for riding an e-scooter whilst under the influence of alcohol.

A further seven people were arrested for drug-riding e-scooters.

In many of the cases, offenders were disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving licence. They were also fined and ordered to pay court costs and a victim surcharge.

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Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Paul Gummer, who covers Nottingham city centre, where electric scooters are widely available to hire, said: “An e-scooter is classed as a motor vehicle and as such, driving one while under the influence of alcohol is a motoring offence.

“Should you appear in a court having been caught drink driving an e-scooter, this will likely lead to the loss of your driving licence, or ability to take a test in the future, if you don’t yet hold a full licence.

“As well as this, driving the e-scooters whilst under the influence of alcohol poses a danger to other road users and pedestrians but mostly yourself. In the vast majority of all accidents involving e-scooters, the only person injured is the one on the e-scooter.

“The message is clear – do not drive an e-scooter while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is illegal, reckless and really unsafe.”

Currently, in the UK, it is illegal to ride an e-scooter of any kind on pavement.

As for roads and cycle lanes, the only scooters that can be used are those that form part of an approved local authority hire scheme – such as the yellow e-scooters provided by Superpedestrian.

All riders must hold a full or provisional driving licence, and can face prosecution for motoring offences.

It is illegal to use a privately-owned e-scooter on a public road, cycle lane or pavement. The only place it can be used is on private land.

Sergeant Steve Waft, of Nottinghamshire Police’s Roads Policing Unit, said: “As a force our priority is to keep people safe and we would urge people to fully understand the law and the implications of using an e-scooter on a road or other public place.

“We will continue to take appropriate and proportionate action against those who break the law and will investigate reports such as the dangerous or antisocial riding of these vehicles.

“Where appropriate officers will seize, and have seized, vehicles that have been driven or ridden illegally or consistently in an antisocial manner. Officers also try to educate those involved around the law regarding the use of e-scooters in public areas.

“Using e-scooters on the roads is legal if they are hired from Superpedestrian as part of a national trial and ridden in the defined area.

“They are easily identifiable as they are bright yellow. They can also be ridden along cycle paths but not pavements.

“It is really important to remember that other forms of e-scooters still remain illegal to use in public spaces.”

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