E-scooters: A Menace to Society or the Future of Transport?

Whilst Santa might still be relying on his eco friendly reindeer driven sleigh this year, how long will it be before he considers modern alternatives such as E-scooters and in doing so will he fall foul of the law?

I recently represented X aged 16, who had been stopped by the police for riding his E-scooter in the car park of a local convenience store.

I advanced various legal submissions to the court on X’s behalf regarding the highly confusing and unsatisfactory legal position that currently applies to the use of E-scooters.

Is an E-scooter a ‘motor vehicle’?

In short – yes. In law that means that it therefore requires a licence to ‘drive’, insurance and an MOT. However, achieving any of these is currently impossible for an E-scooter – to quote Charles Dickens, “the law is an ass”!

Is the car park of a convenience store a ‘public place’?

Again the answer is yes, but in certain circumstances. Although normally private land, it becomes ‘public’ when people are invited on to it e.g. during opening hours to use the shop.

Is pushing the E-scooter when the engine is off ‘driving’?

According to settled case law, albeit some contradictory, the answer once again would be yes if it is being steered, controlled or pedalled.

In X’s case, following his conviction, I successfully submitted a ‘special reasons’ argument on the basis it would be unfair to impose penalty points on his provisional driving licence that he will be applying for next month.

The Magistrates agreed with my submissions, imposing a sentence of Absolute Discharge (no punishment) for there being No Insurance and Driving Otherwise than in Accordance with his licence (see first point above).

The Court also determined that there were ‘special reasons’ not to impose penalty points on X’s future provisional driving licence in light of their sentence.

In conclusion, Santa may want to stick to his sleigh and reindeer until the law catches up with how to deal with E-scooters.