POLICE in a Herefordshire town have warned everyone that riding e-scooters on pavements, roads and in public places is illegal and they could be seized.
West Mercia Police said e-scooters are growing in popularity as a form of transport, and they come under the category of "powered transport".
But powered transport falls within the legal definition of a motor vehicle under the Road Traffic Act 1988 and as such the same rules apply to them that would apply to cars and motorbikes, PCSO Toby Stephenson from Bromyard's Safer Neighbourhood Team said.
It comes after children have been seen riding e-scooters along roads and pavements in Bromyard, sometimes coming close to pedestrians.
The Hereford Times witnessed this while walking near Halo Leisure's Bromyard Centre in Cruxwell Street on Saturday.
PCSO Stephenson said e-scooters must have insurance and tax, and the rider must have a valid licence.
But they don't meet the safety regulations required of a motor vehicle so they actually cannot be insured or taxed.
He said: "As a result of this they cannot be ridden on the roads, pavements or other public places."
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Anyone who uses an e-scooter in those places could face prosecution, which can result in a £300 fine and six points on your driving licence, even if the rider doesn't have one yet.
Further fines could also be imposed for riding without a licence, riding on the pavement or off-road, the PCSO warned.
The police can also seize and destroy the e-scooter if it is ridden without a licence or insurance, or carelessly in a manner likely to cause alarm, distress or annoy other people, even if this is off-road.
Police in Hereford were criticised in 2021 for using a recovery lorry to take away a seized e-scooter.
Baffled Facebook users questioned why officers didn’t simply put the scooter - which weighed less than 100lbs (7st) - in the back of a police car.
David Stokes said: “Couldn't they have just put it in the back of a car instead of wasting money paying for an expensive recovery vehicle to take it away?
“Causing more unnecessary pollution and congestion on Hereford's busy streets.”
Antony Price said: “Couldn't you guys have just put the thing in a patrol car's boot?
“That towing truck seems like a massive waste of resource for such a tiny thing.”
Nicky Martinez said: “Do you really want congratulating on what looks like a complete waste of money to bring a tow truck to seize a flipping scooter?”
Yvonne Hart said: “I wonder if they could have found a bigger town truck for that scooter! That would have fitted into the boot of a police car surely.”
The only place you can legally ride an e-scooter is on private land with the permission of the land owner.
There is legislation in place that permits the use of electronically-assisted pedal cycles and mobility scooters, but that does not cover the use of e-scooters.
There are also trials in certain parts of the UK where e-scooters can be hired, in similar schemes to the Beryl bikes in Hereford.
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