Shared e-scooter schemes may cause confusion around the illegal scooter use, according to Cambridgeshire’s police and crime commissioner.
Darryl Preston, the publicly elected official who helps hold police to account in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has said that many members of the public do not understand the law around privately-owned e-scooters, and that trial schemes may be adding to the confusion, Cambridgeshire Live reports.
Cambridge is taking part in the Government-backed e-scooter trial scheme, operating e-scooter and e-bike rentals provided by Swedish micromobility firm Voi.
Mr Preston told the newspaper: “The pilot schemes that we see in Cambridge and in many other places around the country, these scooters are very different to the ones that you can buy from stores up and down the country.
“But I do understand a lot of people out there don’t really understand the law and I think it can be slightly confusing as to what you can and can not do on personally owned e-scooters.”
Mr Preston highlighted that rental e-scooters like those operated by Voi are subject to restrictions, including speed limits, restricted areas, as well as riders needing to provide a driving licence before they rent a scooter.
It is currently illegal to ride privately-owned electric scooters on the road.
There are currently more than 30 trial scooter rental schemes in operation across the UK, which the Government is using to collect safety data to inform any updated legislation.
Earlier this year, the Government announced plans for a new vehicle category specifically for low-speed, zero emission vehicles like e-scooters, paving the way for the legalisation of private scooters.
Retailers and campaigners have urged the Government to provide clarity on when the new legislation would be introduced, but so far ministers have only stated that the category will be introduced at some point in the 2022/23 parliamentary session.