Man fined following illegal e-scooter use

A 44-year-old man from Redfield must pay more than £1,000 in fines and costs after he was stopped by police for riding an e-scooter illegally.

Souhail Somrani was reported for driving without insurance after he was seen riding the e-scooter in a public park near Brandon Hill in Bristol on 18th April last year.

He was additionally reported for driving a mechanically propelled vehicle otherwise than in accordance with a licence, due to the fact that he was stopped while riding on a public footpath.

He received six penalty points and fines and costs totalling £1,058 after being found guilty of the offences at Bath Magistrates’ Court last Thursday.

Richard McKiernan, of the Avon & Somerset Police Traffic Management Unit, said: “This case demonstrates there can be very real consequences for those who are found to be using an electric scooter illegally.

“E-scooters are classified as motor vehicles for the purposes of law. As such, if they are used on a road, pavement or public place, they are subject to the same legal requirements as any motor vehicle – i.e. you must have a driving licence and insurance.

“However, at the current time, it isn’t possible to get motor insurance to ride a private e-scooter, so ultimately they aren’t lawful for use anywhere other than on private land.

“Our ongoing concern is that many people are still unaware of this. We’d urge anyone considering buying an e-scooter to ensure they fully understand the law before doing so.”

Mr McKiernan added that, since the incident, officers have begun seizing e-scooters being used illegally.

“The law isn’t always made clear to customers by shops selling them, but officers do have the power to seize privately owned e-scooters that are being ridden illegally,” he explained. “The only lawful e-scooters are those which are rented from authorised companies taking part in the Government-led trials.”

Over the past year, the Government has begun trialling the use of rental e-scooters across the country – including in our region – for people with a full or provisional driving licence, in conjunction with authorised providers.