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Staying Safe on E-Scooters

E-scooters are an up-and-coming mode of transport within the UK with an estimated 750,000 in use within the UK. The convenience, low-cost consequences, speeds exceeding over 30mph and the reduced impact on the climate, are all selling points for traveling via an e-scooter.

With Christmas just having been, the number of e-scooters on the roads are only increasing. A common question that is being asked is "Are E-scooters legal?".

What is the law on e-scooters?

Presently, e-scooters are deemed to be a motor vehicle under the Road Traffic Act 1998. The Government guidance states means you must not use an e-scooter whilst intoxicated much like driving any other vehicle.

Guidance states that by riding an e-scooter under the influence, may give rise to prosecution under drink or drug driving laws. It is also a requirement to be holding at least a provisional driving licence and be over the age of 16.

A user must not ride an e-scooter through pedestrian zones, on pavements or on a motorway.

E-scooters hired through a rental company, like the scooters you would see in a city, are entirely legal and should be insured by the company.

However, the popularity of these public e-scooters has led to a rise of privately owned scooters which is becoming increasingly problematic. Privately owned e-scooters cannot be insured, therefore, cannot be used on a public road, cycle lanes and/or pavements.

Currently, one of the biggest issues with riding a privately owned scooter on the road is due to not being able to obtain vehicle insurance. However, it may be that with the rapid increase in use, legalising and offering insurance of private scooters may be on the cards.

Risks of e-scooters?

With the rise of e-scooter usage, there has been a correlation in the increase of personal injury. In 2021 there were 1,352 collisions which increased to 1,402 in 2022. In 2022 there were 440 seriously injured. These collisions are only estimated to rise.

Currently there is no mandatory law requiring users to wear a helmet when riding an e-scooter. This only furthers the risk of injury to e-scooter users. It is strongly advised to wear a helmet all times to reduce the risk of injury should a user be involved in road traffic accident.

Making a claim for e-scooter accidents

If you are hit by a motor vehicle whilst riding an e-scooter the person responsible is usually the vehicle driver.

If you have been injured by someone riding a rented e-scooter, compensation is usually provided by the rental company’s insurer.

If you are injured by someone riding a privately owned e-scooter, it is unlikely they will have any insurance as privately owned e-scooters cannot be insured as they are not permitted on public roads. In this instance, the Motors Insurers Bureau may be able to assist in recovering compensation for any injuries.

Every accident has its own circumstances, so it is important to obtain appropriate legal advice when making a claim involving an e-scooter.

If you have been involved in an accident involving an e-scooter and would like to speak to a member of our team, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 328 4466.