Illegal E-Scooter use: How can retailers play their part?
Main article content
As we approach Christmas, some of us may be considering purchasing an e-scooter as a gift. However, a number of people are still unaware that it is illegal to use a privately owned e-scooter on public roads, pavements or cycle paths. In fact, the only place to legally ride an e-scooter in Wales is on private land with the permission of the land owner – everywhere else it is against the law.
Road Safety Wales is urging retailers to ensure that potential customers are fully aware that if an e-scooter is purchased and subsequently used illegally, the rider risks being issued with a £300 fine, 6 penalty points on their driving licence and their new e-scooter could also be seized.
Retail outlets across the country are at the forefront of providing expert advice to the public and selling products that are safe to use. A commitment to making customers aware of the current regulations around e-scooters will enhance the retailer’s reputation and greatly assist in minimising the road safety risk.
Unfortunately, more people are starting to experience e-scooters being used in their communities on public roads and pavements.
Teresa Ciano, Chair of Road Safety Wales said: “Consumers may not realise that they could be affecting anyone by illegally riding an e-scooter, but they are increasingly being used on the highway and on footpaths and pavements, which is particularly concerning.
“For pedestrians of all ages, it is unacceptable that they are put at risk of being knocked over because someone selfishly chooses to ride an e-scooter illegally, with little regard for the law or for other people. For someone with sight or hearing loss, encountering an e-scooter being ridden on the pavement could have such an effect on them that they feel unable to go out on their own and completely lose their independence.”
Chief Inspector Jon Aspinall of North Wales Police, said: “We know e-scooters can be popular Christmas presents but it’s important that anyone considering buying an escooter is fully aware that it is illegal to ride them on public roads.
“If a member of the public is caught riding an e-scooter on a public road, pavement, or cycle path, then your escooter will be seized, and you may be fined. The parents of children using e-scooters may also be responsible for any fines incurred from them being ridden illegally.
“While e-scooters can be seen as a great gift, they can reach speeds of more than 30mph and this can pose risks to pedestrians and other members of the public. We have already seized a number of e-scooters in recent months and we will continue to take action against anyone illegally riding an e-scooter in our communities.
“We need retailers to work with us to educate the public about the legal use of e-scooters and ensure that no one is inadvertently breaking the law.
“I would ask any member of the public who has concerns about this issue, or sees an e-scooter being driven dangerously, to report it to us via 101. You can also send us a direct message to our Facebook page, or alternatively you can report anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Road Safety Wales is asking retailers to be fully transparent with customers, to recognise if an e-scooter would be unsuitable for where they intend to use it, and where appropriate discuss whether a traditional bicycle or an e-bike would better suit their customer’s needs.