Does your child ride an e-scooter? An illegal ride could cost your teen their future driving licence
By Tihana Drumev, Senior DPR Exec, BraveBison
Many of us are well aware of car driving laws, but the awareness rarely expands to other modes of transportation like bicycles, e-bikes, skateboards, and lately, e-scooters.
Teenagers are especially at risk as they often use these vehicles without obeying the rules, and hefty fines are not the only thing parents have to deal with. Breaking the law on an e-scooter could risk the kids’ future driving record.
A recent study by Currys took a deep dive into the history of transport, including micro-mobility, and as a part of the research, they looked at the laws and fines for e-scooters to help users of this transport stay safe and the right side of the law.
£50 fine for using a private e-scooter in public
As it currently stands, privately owned e-scooters in the UK are banned from public roads and pavements, despite their increasing popularity.
Most police will tell riders to get off and walk with their scooters if they choose to stop you, however, the offence does carry a Fixed Penalty Notice and a possible £50 fine.
Teens treated like adults when it comes to traffic offences
Paying fines is never a good way to spend money, but that’s not the only thing teenage e-scooter riders have to worry about. All of the points from offences are held on police records for three years and can postpone the offender from getting a driver’s licence.
No licence? £100 fine
As e-scooters are classed as motor vehicles under the Road Traffic Act 1988 it means that the minimum age for driving one is 16 years old.
That means that only 16 and over can drive the rental e-scooters, in the designated trial areas, on public roads.
Those found to be without the correct licence when asked to present one could face a £100 fine and three to six penalty points.
No insurance? £300 fine
Riding an e-scooter without insurance on public roads also comes with a hefty fine. Along with landing a potential fine of up to £300, it could also see those caught end up with six points on their driving licence, and this includes future licences for younger offenders.
Riding on the pavement – risking prosecution
Parents often tell their kids to ride on the pavement for their security, but that’s an offence.
Under the Road Traffic Act 1988, which states “if without lawful authority a person drives a mechanically propelled vehicle on any road being a footpath, bridleway or restricted byway, he is guilty of an offence.” E-scooters fall under the category of a “mechanically propelled vehicle” meaning it is illegal to drive them on pavements. If caught driving an e-scooter there, one could face prosecution.
This offence carries a fine of £50 and no penalty points.
Reckless driving of an e-scooter on pavements however could also fall under dangerous driving – that’s three to 11 penalty points, two years of imprisonment, as well as an unlimited fine.
£200 fine for using your phone on an e-scooter
It is a widely known offence to use your mobile phone in any capacity while operating a car, but not many will know that the law extends to those riding an e-scooter as well. Not only is it a safety issue for you and those around you, but using a mobile phone or other handheld mobile device while riding can also cost you up to £200 and six penalty points on a driving licence.
Illegal to offer a ride to a friend
E-scooters may seem like they can carry two people, but they have not been built for that. The stability and balance of this small transport vehicle are engineered for the driver only.
There’s no specific fine tied to giving a mate or child a lift on an e-scooter, but it could fall under dangerous driving.
As mentioned before, E-scooters are considered a motor-vehicle since bicycles are not. Even for regular bikes, giving someone a backy is an offence with a hefty fine of £200.