The green movement isn’t showing any signs of stopping, especially with consumers and brands working side-by-side to pursue environmental awareness. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone’s on the same page regarding alternative living practices. For example, the UK's electric scooter laws aren’t as liberal as other country’s regulation of electric-powered mobility devices.
The Legal Classification for E-Scooters
Unlike electric bikes that are classified as “electrically-assisted pedal cycles” (EAPCs), E-scooters are among the new classification of electric-powered mobility devices termed “powered transporters.” This term also applies to Segways, powered unicycles, and hoverboards. Since there are currently no laws that specifically apply to powered transporters, owners need to observe the conventional policies that affect all motor vehicles.
Although the semantics concerning these devices seem negligible, there’s a significant difference in the legality of how people can operate them in public spaces.
The Legality of Using Electric Scooters
Currently, privately-owned electric scooters are illegal for use on public highways unless it’s registered as an ordinary motor vehicle. Unless you’re willing to go through the process of registering and insuring your electric scooter, you’ll pay hefty fines for using one in public. On the other hand, it’s legal to ride rental e-scooters that have trail rental schemes. However, you still need to have a ‘Q’ category on your driving license.
Another odd clause concerning electric scooters is their legality when riding them on private property. Although there’s no harm in driving one around your property, you’ll need a landowner’s permission to ride one. Interestingly enough, you don’t need a provisional driving license if the landowner permits you to ride your e-scooter on their property.
The Accessibility of Using an Electric Scooter in 2021
Although it doesn’t have a similar scope and sizes as bikes or cars, e-scooters are still disallowed from running along pavements. You can only use an e-scooter on road and cycle lanes. It’s a rule that applies to both privately-owned and rental e-scooters.
In the age of COVID-19, these mobility devices have become an effective way to commute without compromising health and safety protocols. As of April 2021, there are 32 regions where you can use rental electric scooters in the UK. If you want to see the complete list, check this linkhere.
The Development of Electric Scooter Regulations in the Future
The rental scheme’s development is meant to test the principle of incorporating e-scooters as a regular means of everyday commuting. After the designated trial period ends in the latter part of 2021, the feedback and consultation phases will commence. This is a necessary step before e-scooters or other “powered transporters” can be appropriately regulated.
While the reception of rental schemes is generally positive, it’s still up to the UK government to implement proper regulation if necessary. Currently, the UK government has no intention of addressing the legal jurisdictions concerning the difference between privately-owned and rental e-scooters.
The race to save the environment is thankfully taking root in the minds of the current and future generations. However, it might take a little longer before organisations and institutions worldwide will recognise the need for the proper regulation of electric mobility devices. Although there are some grey-area restrictions on electric scooters now, nothing is stopping you from buying one for yourself. What could be an excellent novelty item today can be the primary means of transport of the future.
The future of using electric scooters in public is much closer now than ever before. Want a head start by purchasing your ownportable electric scooter? Then shop with us today! Browse our catalogue and discover all forms of electric mobility devices for your personal and commuting needs.