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Thinking of buying an e-scooter for Christmas? Make sure you know the law first

We’re asking those considering buying an electric scooter this Christmas to ensure that they fully understand the law before doing so.

E-scooters have become commonplace in towns and cities this year, after the Government permitted the start of trials for rental schemes in recent months.

However, while the use of rental e-scooters is now legal within certain trial areas, Avon and Somerset Police is keen to remind people that it remains against the law to ride a privately owned e-scooter in any public place in the UK.

This includes roads, pavements, parks, town centres or canal towpaths. The only place a privately owned e-scooter can be used is on private land.

This is because e-scooters are classified as Personal Light Electric Vehicles (PLEVs) so they are treated as motor vehicles. As such, if they are used on a road, pavement or public place they are subject to the same legal requirements as any motor vehicle.

Richard McKiernan, of Avon and Somerset’s Traffic Management Unit, said: “Privately owned e-scooters aren’t lawful for use in public places, but most people who are stopped are totally unaware of that and are very surprised.

“The law isn’t always made clear to customers by shops selling them, but officers do have the power to seize privately owned e-scooters that are being ridden illegally.

“Ultimately, misuse of a private e-scooter can result in points on your driving licence.

“We understand that e-scooters are very tempting for Christmas presents, but we would urge people to fully understand the law first.

“Even if you are planning to use it legally – i.e. on private land – I’d encourage people to take appropriate safety precautions such as wearing a helmet and protective clothing such as knee and elbow pads to minimise injury.”