Devon & Cornwall Police warning about use of e-scooters on public land

Published: 07 May 2021

Devon & Cornwall Police warning about use of e-scooters on public land

E-scooters, sometimes called electric scooters, are growing in popularity and use. Did you know you can only ride them on private land where you have the land owner’s permission, or on public roads and in cycle lanes where there is an approved government rental trial?
With more and more being used on public land, make sure you know where you can use one or you may find yourself committing an offense under the Road Traffic Act 1988 and, if ridden on the pavement, the Highway Act 1835.
What you need to know:

  • The only place you can ride a privately owned e-scooter is on private land with the landowner’s permission.
  • It is against the law to ride an e-scooter on any public land. This includes pavement’s, cycle lanes, beach promenades, bridleways, or any publicly accessible land such as parks and car parks.
  • An e-scooter is classed as a powered transporter and they are treated as a motor vehicle and fall under the Road Traffic Act 1988. They are subject to the same legal requirements as motor vehicles. This includes MOT, tax, licensing, insurance, and specific construction regulations.
  • If you are caught using a powered transporter (e-scooter) on a public road, pavement, or other prohibited space you are committing a criminal offence and could be prosecuted.
  • Your e-scooter could be seized, you could end up with a fine, penalty points or even disqualification from driving.
  • The Government are running trials for renting e-scooters. To find out if these are taking place in an area near you go to their website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/e-scooter-trials-guidance-for-users
  • You can find out more about e-scooters and powered transporters here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/powered-transporters/information-sheet-guidance-on-powered-transporters