Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership is urging the public not to buy an e-scooter because it remains illegal to ride a privately-owned e-scooter in any public place in the UK.
Last year, 24 e-scooters were seized by Warwickshire Police officers - as well as having legal powers to seize e-scooters, they can also prosecute riders.
Sgt Shaun Bridle said: “Once seized by officers, your e-scooter will be collected by our vehicle recovery team and you will be unlikely to get it back. With most e-scooters costing £500-£1000 this is a lot of money to lose.
E-scooter riders can also face a £300 fine and 6 points on their licence for riding an e-scooter with no insurance.
Insurance is available for theft and damage and for use on private land but no insurance companies will insure a privately-owned e-scooter for use on the road or public place (such as parks) and this is a legal requirement. You also need to have an appropriate licence, so anyone under 16 will not be able to hold a licence.
The scooters are classified as Personal Light Electric Vehicles (PLEVs) so they are treated as motor vehicles and subject to the same legal requirements such as MOT, licensing, tax and insurance.
Officers are also using Section 59 of the Police Reform Act to issue a warning to riders of e-scooters and educate them as to the legal requirements. If a rider is under 16 years old then this advice will also be given to the parents.
Sgt Bridle continued: “As well as being illegal, we have real concerns about the safety of e-scooters. In the first ten months of 2021, nationally there were nine deaths and other casualties involving both e-scooter riders and other road users.”
“If you cause serious harm to another person whilst riding an e-scooter the incident will be investigated in the same way it would if you were riding a motorcycle or driving a car,"
Police are not currently aware of any serious injury collisions involving e-scooters in Warwickshire but on February 17 a girl was hit by an electric scooter as she walked to school in Nuneaton. She suffered minor injuries to her wrist and was left shaken following the collision that occurred as she was crossing Park Lane. The e-scooter rider left the scene, leaving the young girl in the middle of the road. Police are continuing to investigate.
Some parts of the country are taking part in Government trials for e-scooter hire with a view to making them legal to use on the roads, Warwickshire is not currently part of the trials so e-scooters cannot be hired at this time.
It is legal for an electric scooter to be ridden on private property.