An E-scooter is a stand-up scooter powered by an electric motor, they have become increasingly popular in recent years all over the UK including Scotland however, the Daily Record highlights that there were 460 accidents involving e-scooters in Britain in 2020. Many people are unclear about the rules surrounding e-scooters in Scotland, so in this blog we’ll explain e-scooter laws and what to do if you are involved in an e-scooter accident.
What the laws are surrounding e-scooters in Scotland?
E-scooters are classed as a motor vehicle which is defined in the Road Traffic Act 1988 as “any mechanically propelled vehicle intended or adapted for use on roads.” Gov.uk urges that although e-scooters are legal to buy, they are only legal to be used on private land with the prior agreement of the landowner. They are illegal to use in public places such as pavements, footpaths, cycle lanes, cycle tracks, roads, bridleways, restricted byways, car parks, public squares, industrial estates, university campuses, parks, town centres, promenades etc. Any person who uses an e-scooter on a public road or other prohibited space in breach of the law is committing a criminal offence and can be liable to prosecution.
What happens if I purchase e-scooter?
E-scooters are legal to purchase but illegal to use in public spaces. Penalties depend on the nature and gravity of the offence and sentences range from fines and penalty points to disqualification from driving, if used under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs imprisonment may be involved, and offences related to the standard of driving and speeding also apply.
Do I need a license for an e-scooter?
Police Scotland state that as e-scooters have the same status as motor vehicles this means that they require insurance, conformity with technical standards and standards of use, payment of vehicle tax, licensing and registration, driver testing and licensing and the use of relevant safety equipment, to be used on public roads. All these factors are extremely difficult to comply with so many e-scooter users refrain from using them in public places. The only e-scooters legally permitted to use the roads are those that are part of the rental scheme approved by the UK Government’s Department for Transport.
What happens if I’m in an accident involving an e-scooter?
Most e-scooters are uninsured. If you are injured by an uninsured e-scooter, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) which handles claims where the defendant or rider is either uninsured or cannot be traced, will generally compensate the victim even without policy or insurance. If you are in an accident involving an insured e-scooter you may be entitled to compensation directly from them/their insurance. It is also worth noting that that the accident still has to be the fault of the e-scooter rider for you to receive compensation.
What happens if I am riding one and cause an accident?
If you have injured someone whilst riding an e-scooter the Motor Insurers’ Bureau is likely to pursue you for the compensation that they provide to the victim. Similarly, if you are insured and injure someone, your insurance may cover their compensation. However, if whilst you are riding an e-scooter and you are involved in an accident which was not your fault you may still be entitled to compensation.
If you or someone you know have been in an accident involving an e-scooter, please get in touch with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors today.