Motorised scooter reviews and warning
Leicestershire County Council's Trading Standards Service and Leicestershire Constabulary are alerting consumers and traders to the legal position regarding motorised scooters.
Trading Standards officers have seen advertisements and received information suggesting that some companies selling these scooters imply that they may be used on the road. This is not the case - if used on the road, these scooters are legally classed as motor vehicles.
Power assisted scooters have been widely advertised over the Christmas period and prices have dropped recently, in some cases to less than £150. This has led to them being a popular gift for adults and older children alike.
Both petrol driven and battery powered scooters are available; some of which have a pedal cycle type seat fitted to them. Battery powered scooters tend to be slower than petrol ones, often with a top speed of about 15mph.
To be used on the road, or in any place to which the public has access, these scooters would have to meet all construction and use requirements. They would be required to have European Whole Vehicle Type Approval, be registered with the DVLA, taxed and be fitted with a number plate. The rider would have to hold a valid driver licence, be insured for the vehicle and need to wear a proper motorcycle helmet. In addition, any user would need to comply with the highway code and all driving legislation.
Although there are exemptions to road traffic legislation for some motorised vehicles that meet specific requirements, for example, motorised pedal cycles and mobility scooters, neither the petrol driven scooters, nor the battery powered ones that have recently become popular meet these requirements.
A spokesperson for Leicestershire County Council said: "We can imagine a situation where a parent purchases one of these scooters as a gift and the child then uses it in a public place without realising that they are liable to prosecution. Similarly, an adult may be tempted to ride home after a drink with friends and face a breathalyser test. These scooters may be great fun but are simply not appropriate nor legal to use on the road or pavement. They could pose a real threat to the riders themselves or other road users - particularly in the dark or poor weather conditions.
"If consumers have been mislead by the seller in this way, they may be entitled to their money back."
A spokesperson for Leicestershire constabulary added "We don't want to spoil people's fun, we just want them to be aware of the legal requirements for this type of vehicle. Riders must be aware that it is an offence to drive them on the public highway without the correct documentation and if they do, they could be liable to prosecution."
Mark Harris contributes and publishes news editorial to http://www.the-scooters-report.com.
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