PRIVATE e-scooters could soon be legalised for use on roads as Grant Shapps hinted the £300 fine could soon be axed.
The Transport Secretary said he wants to “properly regulate” private e-scooters – which right now cannot be used in public.
Private e-scooters could soon become legal to use in publicCredit: Alamy
E-scooters can only be used on England’s roads if they are part of trials of rental schemes, which involve safety features such as maximum speeds of 15.5mph and automatic lights.
Those that are privately owned are legally restricted for use on private land – but are often spotted whizzing about in towns and cities.
Despite hundreds of crashes and 11 deaths as a result of illegal usage, Mr Shapps has indicated private e-scooters could soon be given the green light in public.
The Cabinet minister said legislation will be included in the Queen’s Speech on May 10.
Mr Shapps told the Commons Transport Select Committee that “in the future I want to crack down on the illegal use on roads of non-compliant e-scooters”.
Committee member Simon Jupp said there have been “900 collisions, 11 of which were fatal”.
He expressed concern that Mr Shapps’ comments indicate the Department for Transport (DfT) is considering allowing private e-scooters to be used on roads as long as they meet similar safety specifications as those in the trials.
Mr Shapps replied: “We will take powers to properly regulate and then be able to decide the usage of them.
“They’re a reality, they exist.
“If these things exist they need to be made safe, and I think the trials have been useful in gathering data and there’s more data still to gather.”
Another committee member, Ben Bradshaw, described e-scooters as a “convenient, cheap and environmentally friendly form of transport” as he asked Mr Shapps when the DfT will “get a move on and properly license these things”.
In his response, Mr Shapps said: “I shall announce it on May 10.”
Speaking after the session, AA president Edmund King said: “The Government is right to address this issue and bring in regulations rather than allowing some of our cities to be over-run like the Wild West with illegal scooters.
“Micro-mobility and e-technology can have a positive effect on movement in our cities but we must ensure that movement is safe.”
Private e-scooters are growing in popularity – but riders face a £300 fine and six points on their licence if they use them on public roads or pavements.
Electric-powered scooters are growing in popularity as manufacturers boast you can “roll freely in the streets” – but riders face a £300 fine and six points on their licence if they use them on public roads or pavements.
Despite this, there are believed to be around 750,000 private e-scooters being ridden across the country.
They have previously been branded “death traps” by a Met Police chief after crashes rose 700 per cent.
Just last month, a schoolgirl reportedly became the youngest e-scooter rider to be killed in the UK after a crash with a van in London.
Nine e-scooter riders died in crashes last year, a report found in December.
Meanwhile, a Conservative politician has demanded cyclists and e-scooter riders be banned from using their mobile phone while zipping around.
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering wants an immediate law change so both groups are prosecuted in the same way that car drivers are.
She erupted at users on two wheels who use mobile phones “inappropriately” and accused e-scooter riders of having “absolutely terrorised” Brits.
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