As Christmas approaches parents might be considering buying their child an electric bike or scooter. However, the message from Merseyside Police is simple – don’t! eScooters and eBikes are illegal and buying one could mean you’re breaking the law.
eScooters are an emerging trend across the country. They differ in style some have a seat attached, but the majority just have a footboard to stand on as it propels the rider along.
Retailers might sell them as a child’s toy, a greener travel option, or as ideal for ‘popping down’ to the shops. However, it is important to remember that they remain illegal for use anywhere other than on private land.
Currently there are a series of trials being carried out across the country by local councils to establish if the law should be amended to allow eScooters to be legally ridden on the public roads. Currently, only the eScooters officially hired as part of these trials are legally allowed to be ridden on public roads and cycle lanes.
Did you know that …
- eScooters are not permitted to be ridden on pavements, in public parks or roads with a speed limit greater than 30 miles per hour
- eScooters purchased by members of the public are not legally allowed to be ridden anywhere other than on private property with the express permission of the landowner
- Private eScooters that are ridden on public land can be seized and destroyed along with the rider facing prosecution for driving licence and insurance offences.
- Parents who allow their children to ride private eScooters on public land or roads can also be prosecuted for allowing this to happen.
- Riders of eScooters, whether privately owned or hired as part of a trial, can face prosecution if they are found to be riding whilst under the influence of drink or drugs.
Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPC)
Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPC) are pedal cycles that have an electric motor fitted and are becoming increasingly popular.
They can be legally ridden on roads and public spaces where pedal cycles are allowed. Insurance is not required for EAPC’s but there are certain exclusions that can make an EAPC illegal including:
- You must be aged 14 or over to legally ride an eScooter on a road or public space
- If a person who knows or suspects that the rider is under the age of 14 years and allows them to ride then they can face prosecution for doing so along with the rider
- The electric motor must not exceed a maximum continuous rated power of 250W. This will be clearly marked on the unit.
- If a restriction switch is fitted to regulate the power output this makes the EAPC illegal. The electrical assistance must cut off when a maximum speed of 15.5mph (25km/h) is reached.
- An EAPC must have pedals that can be used to propel it along. If no pedals are fitted the EAPC is classed as an electric motorcycle. As such the rider will require a driving licence, insurance, MOT certificate along with road tax for the machine. The machine will also need to be ‘type approved’ for use on the road. There are also weight restrictions as to how much an EAPC must weigh.
Think before you buy. Ensure you know the law and how it may affect you.