The Metropolitan Police is to crack down on the use of e-scooters in the capital after reminding users that privately owned e-scooters remain illegal on the roads of London and in public places.
Chief Superintendent Simon Ovens voiced concerns that, in the lead up to Christmas, people buying e-scooters were unaware that use is only permitted on private land.
Ovens said: “I believe that some people are using e-scooters as an attractive mode of transport, especially in their commute to work, but they remain notoriously dangerous, and illegal when driven in public areas or on the roads. Under the Road Traffic Act 1988, it is the equivalent of riding a motorcycle on the road without any MOT, tax or insurance.”
According to the Met, police have seized 268 e-scooters, some of which can operate at 40mph, with others reaching 70mph. In 2018 there were four reported collisions and in 2019 that rose to 32.
Ovens, added: “My priority is to keep people safe on our roads and make sure people are aware of the rules and look out for their own, and others, safety.
“In the lead up to Christmas, we want to remind people that if you are buying one, under current legislation, you can only ride it on private land with the land owner’s permission.
If you are out on an e-scooter in London, expect to be stopped by officers as we continue to help keep Londoners safe.”
Fines of up to £300 can be given where appropriate, and six points added to driving licences for contravening a cycle lane or riding them on the pavement.
Operation Hornet, the Met’s safety operation around e-scooters, has been running for over a year. This allows officers to give one-time warnings to those who are stopped after explaining the legislation to them. To date officers have given 604 warnings.
The Met said it recognises the need for more sustainable and greener methods of transport. It fully supports the specific legislation put in place for an e-scooter trial.
As previously reported by CiTTi, a rental e-scooter trial has been announced for London in the spring 2021.