Posted on: Wednesday 25 August 2021
This summer, some people may be considering purchasing an e-scooter, which have become an increasingly common sight as people are still looking at alternatives to public transport or a way to reduce car use.
However, it is illegal to use a privately owned e-scooter on public roads, pavements or cycle paths. Road Safety Wales would like to advise anyone contemplating purchasing or using an e-scooter, that they risk being issued with a £300 fine, 6 penalty points on their driving licence and having the e-scooter seized.
Additionally, for any driver or motorcyclist that has passed their driving test in the last two years it could result in a driving disqualification and the need to re-take both the theory and practical driving test.
Teresa Ciano, Chair of Road Safety Wales said, “Trials of rental e-scooters are taking place in some parts of England, but e-scooters should only be used within the local area hosting the trial.
“Currently in Wales, the only place to legally ride an e-scooter is on private land with the permission of the land owner – everywhere else it is against the law.”
Some people may not realise that they are affecting anyone by illegally riding an e-scooter, but they can be incredibly frightening to someone with sight or hearing loss.
Teresa Ciano added, “We are asking people to consider how they would feel if they, or a member of their family with a visual or hearing impairment, were genuinely afraid of being knocked down by an e-scooter every time they went out.”
“We are aware that some people are selfishly riding e-scooters on the pavement with no regard for the safety of others. This is totally unacceptable and we are grateful that our police colleagues are taking robust action against these individuals.”
Andrea Gordon, External Affairs Manager, Guide Dogs Cymru said, “We are very concerned about the increase in e-scooter use. People with sight loss, who cannot hear or see them approaching, are particularly at risk.
“We don’t expect to find e-scooters on the pavement, and a near miss caused by an e-scooter can be so frightening that a person with sight loss stops going out independently. E-scooters will have a dramatic and irreversible effect on the street environment. Our pavements should be safe for everyone.”
Although reducing car use is welcomed, particularly for local journeys, purchasers of e-scooters could unwittingly be putting the safety of themselves and others at risk. There are many other eco-friendly methods of travel, such as walking or cycling, which are both encouraged by Road Safety Wales and legal.
Please don’t waste your hard-earned money on buying an e-scooter – retailers may be happy to sell one to you but it can be seized the moment you attempt to use it in a public place.