In the run-up to Christmas, Police are highlighting the illegal use of electric scooters and urging parents and guardians to think seriously before buying them as presents.
Recently, the force has seen an increase inbeing ridden illegally across Merseyside, particularly in areas of Liverpool city centre and Southport, as well as areas of Wirral, St Helens and Knowsley.
It is against the law to ride an e-scooter anywhere other than on private land, with the express permission of the landowner. If found to be riding one in public, individuals can face having their scooters seized, a fine, or even points on their driving licence.
In addition to this,can pose a danger to other members of the public, and we have seen increased reports of them being ridden antisocially including on pavements, in crowded places, and even in the dark. As Christmas approaches, we are encouraging anyone considering purchasing a scooter as a gift to please seriously consider the risks.
Chief Inspector Tony Jones said: “We understandmay appeal to many people for various reasons, whether it’s to travel to work, to purchase as a gift for someone or to enjoy as a fun activity, but we must stress the fact that to use them in public is illegal and can present a safety risk to yourself and others.
“Recently, we have seen a rise in incidents involving electric scooters, including a minor injury collision with a car and I want to make it clear that these scooters are not toys, and have the potential to cause serious injury or even worse.
“However, there are ways they can be used legally and safely, and earlier this month Liverpool City Council launched an e-scooter programme within the city centre. For a trial period of one year, around 150 scooters have been made available for members of the public to hire and ride during certain times, within the confines of the approved area, which runs from Boundary Street to Sefton Street.
“Only these scooters are legal to ride, with all privately ownedremaining illegal to ride anywhere other than private land. The scooters used in the trials will be treated as motor vehicles, and you must be over 18 years of age and have at least a provisional driving licence to use one.
“This is a pioneering initiative by the Council, and I would encourage anyone who is thinking about purchasing an e-scooter for whatever reason, to reconsider and look to utilise this service as an alternative, with no risk of having your scooter seized, or receiving a fine or points on your license.
“I want to stress that Merseyside Police will take action if you are found to be using electric scooters illegally. The anti-social and criminal use of them in our town centres and on our roads is reckless and can be incredibly dangerous, posing a significant risk to members of the public as well as the rider.
“We will continue to work to crack down on the illegal use of electric scooters as the festive period approaches, and would encourage anyone who has information on them to please get in touch with us.”
If you have information on the criminal or anti-social use of electric scooters on Merseyside, please contact @MerPolCC, 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111. More information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/powered-transporters/information-sheet-guidance-on-powered-transporters.