Crawley Borough Council and Sussex Police are working together to try and reduce the risk posed by careless or inconsiderate users of e-scooters.
Councillor Michael Jones, Cabinet member for Public Protection and Community Engagement, and Chief Inspector Shane Baker, Crawley Police, have penned a joint letter to the deputy headteachers of all secondary schools in the town, asking for their help in educating students about the illegality and risks posed by using e-scooters.
This follows a suggestion from a resident at last week’s Crawley Question Time event, who reported that a student on an e-scooter almost collided with them outside a school.
The letter to deputy headteachers states: “We have observed that not only adults use e-scooters but we have also noted that children have now been given these vehicles too. This, in our opinion, raises all types of different concerns around road and personal safety.
“Please could you take active steps to remind your students and their parents that if a person does use an e-scooter illegally they could face a fine, they could get penalty points on their licence and the e-scooter could be impounded.”
The law currently classifies e-scooters as ‘powered transporters’ and like cars, motorbikes and mopeds, they are illegal to use on pavements and cycle paths.
As a relatively new mode of transport, privately-owned e-scooters are not yet subject to conditions like MOTs or construction standards, and so they are not yet allowed to be used on roads either. This means, privately owned e-scooters are only legal when used on private land, with the landowner’s permission.
Councillor Jones said: “E-scooters can reach speeds of up to 20mph and pose a significant risk to the safety of pedestrians in busy public spaces such as the town centres or our shopping parades.
“We’re working in partnership with Sussex Police to educate riders in the laws that apply to e-scooters and the risks they pose. Community Wardens will ask riders to dismount when in public spaces to reduce this risk and to engage with the rider; where the rider continues to ride or is using the scooter dangerously the team will report this to Sussex Police and provide body worn video footage and/or CCTV to identify the rider.”
Chief Inspector Baker said: “Whilst e-scooters are widely available to purchase, it is illegal to ride a privately purchased e-scooter in public. Riders are
subject to the same laws a motorist would need to drive lawfully on the road, including the requirement to have a valid licence, insurance, registration plates and vehicle licensing.
“There are currently no legal ways to register, insure or tax an e-scooter and there are no areas in Sussex taking part in any national trials. Any riders caught on an e-scooter may receive points and could be banned from driving a car in the future.”
More information about the laws surrounding the use and sale of e-scooters can be found at gov.uk/government/publications/powered-transporters/information-sheet-guidance-on-powered-transporters