Police issue drink/drug drive warning over e-scooters
Crime / Sat 18th Dec 2021 at 08:07am
AN e-scooter is not an alternative to a taxi after a night out: don’t get caught out, know the law before you hop on one this Christmas.
Following the launch of our Christmas anti-drink drive campaign, Inspector Matt Crow of the Roads Policing Unit, explains what everyone should know when it comes to buying and riding an e-scooter this Christmas.
“If you’re riding a privately-owned e-scooter in a public area, my officers will stop you because, put simply, they’re illegal. The only legal e-scooters on Essex roads are orange-branded Spin e-scooters which are part of the trial administered by Essex County Council on behalf of the Government.
“An e-scooter is not a toy, please don’t take one for a ride if you’ve been drinking.
“And if my officers suspect you’ve been drinking before riding any e-scooter, including the legal orange branded Spin e-scooters, you could be arrested for drink driving.
“Don’t think an e-scooter will be a cheap ride home after a night out, it won’t be. It could cost you your licence and your livelihood.
“Up until the end of November, we seized 347 privately-owned scooters because they were being ridden illegally.
“And the nearer it gets to Christmas, don’t leave your family wondering if you’re coming home, if you’re in custody or worse still, not coming home at all.
“This Christmas, make their present, your presence. Just don’t drink and drive.”
If you are thinking of buying an e-scooter as a gift this Christmas, please be aware it’s perfectly legal to buy an e-scooter, but there are limits where you can ride it.
A privately-owned e-scooter can only be used on private land with the landowner’s permission, it’s illegal to ride them on roads, footpaths, in fact any public area. Retailers selling e-scooters have been asked to point out these restrictions at point of sale.
Only e-scooters that form part of any of the Essex trials are permissible on the road in the trial areas only.
Anyone who uses a rental e-scooter must adhere to the Highway Code and road traffic laws, including drink or drug driving laws.
Well Inspector Matt Crow should ensure that Police officers in Harlow actually enforce this law. Whether you agree or disagree that e-scooters should be legal is not the point. The point is that they are currently not legal. Yet Harlow Police completely ignore this and knowingly choose not stop offenders. I say this having whitnessed exactly this happen on three occasions in the past month. After an incident in The Hides a few weeks ago, for the next few days there were several Police and a mobile unit by the underpass in The Hides. I stood and watched as two riders on e-scooters rode on the pavement and under the underpass, litterally right in front of the Police officers. They ignored it. When I asked the Police why they had not stopped the riders, the reply was at first "they are legal". When I challenged this, the officers then said "well we can't arrest everybody". How is this upholding the law and making pavement users feel safe. Anti-social behaviour is being ignored by Police even when it happens right in front of them.