E-Scooters To Be Made Legal

Thu 19th May 2022

They may be the scourge of many motorists who have had to slam on the brakes as a two-wheeled teenager shoots out in front of them, but new laws are to be passed which will make e-scooters legal for public roads.

Currently there are only a select number of locations in the UK where fully licensed, registered and insured e-scooters can be driven as part of a national trial. These e-scooters can only be driven by those who have scanned a full or provisional driving licence to unlock them and come with restricted speeds. Despite this there are thoughts to be thousands of e-scooters driving illegally on roads and footpaths around the country, and though police have in some cases been fining riders, those fines look likely to be a thing of the past.

Prince Charles hinted at a more modern approach to Transport in last week’s Queens Speech and now speaking in the House of Lords, Baroness Vere said a new Transport Bill will open the door for new vehicle categories.

She said: “It is our intention that the [Transport] Bill will create a low-speed, zero-emission vehicle category that is independent from the cycle and motor vehicle categories. New powers would allow the Government to decide the vehicles that fall into this new category in future and how they should be regulated to make sure that they are safe to use. We hope that e-scooters will be the first of these vehicles.”

Road safety campaigners are split on the introduction with many saying that a proper infrastructure needs to be in place to ensure they have a minimum standard of specification, and that they remain limited to 15.5mph. There’s a recommendation too that drivers must be aged 16 years or over, which is likely to be an issue currently.

“Legalising private e-scooter use on public roads could transform shorter journeys in urban and other built-up areas,” said Nicholas Lyes of the RAC.

“It is vital that the Government looks carefully at how legalisation can be done safely and that learnings are taken from the myriad of trials that are taking place across the country.”