Dorset police and crime commissioner David Sidwick is advising people not to buy e-scooters as Christmas presents.
He said: “I have to say that I take issue with the irresponsible retailers who sell these items; they are quite simply misleading the public. You cannot buy and use an e-scooter on any public land and that includes roads, pavements, pathways, bridleways or walkways – so unless you personally own great swathes of land in Dorset you simply cannot ride these machines legally.”
And they can be a real danger to people with sight problems.
Last week he met with Peter Bungay, service user voice officer, for Guide Dogs and his dog Stevie.
Mr Sidwick said: “We spoke about e-scooters and how they are being used in the BCP area.
“Peter told me that sight loss groups had been involved in trials across the country, including the Beryl trial in BCP and that a lot of the advice given to the council had been listened to and acted upon, Peter had raised concerns over the positioning of ‘docking stations’ and scooters being discarded on pavements and steps have been taken to address these issues – but both Peter and I share the same concerns over the use of illegal scooters in our county.”
He added that he believed that e-scooters have the potential to be a transformative form of personal transport – if used correctly, and within the law.
He said: “But I still think there is room for improvement – for example, I would like to see properly visible, moped sized ‘registration’ plates on the Beryl scooters.
“Dorset police take an education and seizure stance on e-scooters and regularly remove them from our streets. When it comes to enforcement, an e-scooter is classed as a powered transporter and they are treated as a motor vehicle and fall under the road traffic act 1988. They are subject to the same legal requirements as motor vehicles. This includes mot, tax, licensing, insurance, and specific construction regulations.”
If you are caught using a powered e-scooter on a public road, pavement, or other prohibited space you are committing a criminal offence and could be prosecuted.
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