Police seize 268 'dangerous and illegal' e-scooters which can reach up to 70mph

20 November 2020, 11:02

The Metropolitan Police has seized some 268 scooters which can reach speeds of up to 40-70mph
The Metropolitan Police has seized some 268 scooters which can reach speeds of up to 40-70mph. Picture: PA

By Matt Drake

Police in London have seized nearly 300 electric scooters that can reach up to 70mph as they crack down on their "illegal" use.

The e-scooter trade in London is currently booming, but they remain illegal to ride on public roads, cycleways or pavements.

Riding a scooter in a public place is the equivalent of riding a motorcycle on the road without any MOT, tax or insurance, the police have said.

But the Metropolitan Police has seized some 268 scooters which can reach speeds of between 40-70mph.

Collisions involving scooters are also underreported due to their illegal use and police are reminding people they can only be used on private land. If they are used in public places they can expect to be stopped by officers, police said.

Chief Superintendent Simon Ovens, from the Met's Road and Transport Policing Command, 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.

"Whilst we have seized e-scooters which can operate up to 40 mph, there are some which can reach 70 mph. There is no test required to be able to ride one which means people often do not have an understanding of the road awareness; they do not wear a helmet or have lights on them so riding one means they are putting themselves and others at risk, especially at this time of year with the early evenings."

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There were four reported e-scooter collisions in 2018, but in 2019 it rose to 32.

Offences committed while using a scooter can include operating a vehicle without insurance, contravening a cycle lane, or riding them on the pavement.

Officers can issue e-scooter riders with a Traffic Offence Report (TOR) which can lead to a £300 fine and six points on your licence.

Ch Supt Ovens continued: "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."

Officers have given 604 warnings and since July there have been reports of over 290 crimes carried out using one for offences such as robbery, assault and theft currently under investigation by officers.

Last year, an LBC investigation found that most shops don't know the law when selling electric scooters.

Out of the seven shops tested, only two got the law and advice right immediately, which was Halfords and Harrods.

LBC Presenter Nick Ferrari has been a vocal critic of e-scooter use for some time.

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