E-Scooters What is the law?
30 June 2021
e-scooter, South Norfolk Constabulary
What is an e-scooter?
Under the Road Traffic Act, electric scooters or e-scooters come under the category of “powered transporters”. This also covers a range of other personal transport devices which are powered by a motor.
“Powered transporters” fall within the legal definition of a motor vehicle under the Road Traffic Act 1988. Therefore, the rules that apply to motor vehicles, also apply to e-scooters.
As a motor vehicle, they must comply with various pieces of Road Traffic Legislation, including but not limited to:
driving with a licence
driving/riding with insurance
driving/riding other than on a road
need to be taxed
Trials of rental e-scooters as an environmentally-friendly means of travel are also taking place in the UK, including trial zones within Norwich and Great Yarmouth.
Any person who uses a rental e-scooter on a public road or other public space, must comply with it being a motor vehicle.
What types of e-scooter are there in Norfolk?
There are currently three types of e-scooter in Norfolk:
Beryl rental - Norwich
Ginger rental – Great Yarmouth
Privately owned (available at retail stores)
What is the difference between privately-owned e-scooters and rental e-scooters?
Privately owned e-scooters are only legal to use on private land. You cannot get insurance to ride these in public spaces. This means they CANNOT be ridden on roads, pavements or any public space.
E-scooter operators Beryl and Ginger are permitted by a Government trial to hire out their
e-scooters in specific cities or towns across the UK. In Norfolk these trials are currently ongoing in zones of Norwich and Great Yarmouth. These e-scooters are clearly marked and if rented can ONLY be used on the road and cycle paths.
Only the authorised ‘Beryl’ or ‘Ginger’ branded scooters are part of the trials and can legally be used.
If I am using a rental e-scooter as part of these trials, where can I ride this?
Norwich City Council are currently running the Beryl rental scheme. These e-scooters should only be used in Norwich and either on the road or cycle paths within the trial zone. Find out more here.
Great Yarmouth Borough Council are currently running the Ginger rental scheme. These e-scooters should only be used in Great Yarmouth and on the road or cycle paths within the trial zone. Find out more: via the Great Yarmouth Borough Council.
What will happen if me or my child are seen riding a privately-owned e-scooter on the road/footpath?
If you are caught riding an e-scooter in a public place, you could have your e-scooter seized. Costs to recover an e-scooter are £150 plus £10 a day storage fee. You could also face up to six penalty points on your licence and a fine of £300.
What could happen if I break the law on a trial scooter?
Police have powers stop users for careless or dangerous driving, as well as drug-driving and drink-driving. You risk prosecution, a fine and/or penalty points on your licence.