Our sister company Electroheads – the social media and marketplace inspired by the electro-mobility revolution – has been busy looking into the world of electric scooter legalisation in the UK, where it is currently illegal to use the little e-powered machines on public roads.
Well, it’s not a 100% blanket ban – rental scooter trials are running in various cities across the country – but privately-owned e-scooters can currently only be used on private land. Venture out onto the King’s highways and you are risking a fine, points on your driving licence and impounding of the scooter.
Electroheads has actively campaigned to bring the UK in line with nearly every major economy in Europe and the Americas, where scooters have been classified as legal for use on roads (often with sensible 15mph speed restrictions).
Now it appears the UK Government may finally be catching up with the electric revolution, with the news that an e-scooter legality bill may finally be introduced in 2023. It’s news that Electroheads has been calling for and to encourage the Government to move faster, they have carried out a major survey of the UK public to see exactly what they think in terms of scooter laws, scooter safety and scooter speed limits.
Electroheads.com is calling for laws that don’t discriminate against electric scooter use or impose rules that are significantly different to those that currently apply to the use of electric bikes, which can already be used legally and safely on UK roads. Their survey shows that the public agree with the Electroheads campaign. More than 5000 people were polled across one of three main areas:
- What rules should apply to privately-owned electric scooters on our roads?
- What should the maximum speed be for electric scooters on UK roads?
- How should the law punish anti-social electric scooter riding?
- Most people (61.6%) want at least one of the safety rules Electroheads asked about although no individual one was given majority support.
- Compulsory helmets came top – 35.4% of respondents want them to be obligatory for electric scooter riders (39% of women, 32% of men).
- Less than half (44.4%) of those surveyed want the legal speed limit of electric scooters to be less than that of ebikes (15.5mph), but older people are more in favour of this:
- Of those aged 18-34, 36.8% want a limit of 10-12mph
- For 35-54 year olds, it’s 43.9%
- And nearly half of those aged 55+ opted for the lower limit: 49.8%
- Of the options people were surveyed about:
- 44.4% want 10-12mph, less than for e-bikes.
- 29% want 15.5mph, the same as for e-bikes.
- Nearly as many support higher limits – 12% wanting 20mph and 14% think electric scooters should just have to obey the limit of the road they are used on (eg 20 or 30mph).
PUNISHMENTS FOR UNSAFE RIDING
- Most respondents (61%) want some punishment (eg a safe riding awareness course or fixed fines) for antisocial riding. But just 14% support penalty points on users’ licences.
- There’s an age divide when applying punishments. 67% of over 45s would expect punishments for antisocial riding compared to 54% of those aged 18-44.
We asked Electrohead’s lead presenter Eilis Barrett to give her reaction to the news that the UK public are supportive of private scooter legislation and sensible restrictions on use and speed. She told us:
“We remain the only major economy in the world where electric scooter use remains illegal – and that’s just mad. Electroheads has consistently made the case for legalising private scooters in the UK. They are true tailpipe emissions-free machines, clean and economical to use. It just doesn’t make sense that a two-tonne car, pumping out particulates, and capable of speeds of over 100mph can be legal but a small, speed-limited e-scooter remains banned.
“The public supports safety rules and we think the most obvious approach is to mimic that for ebikes – so a 15.5mph speed limit, recommended but not compulsory helmets, and no need for a licence or test.”
At Foxtrot Papa, we’re fully behind the Electroheads campaign and the shift to wider use of electro-mobility, whether on two wheels or four. If you’re in the market for your own taste of the future then take a look at the Electroheads marketplace, where you can buy a range of brilliant e-mobility bikes, scooters and accessories such as the LiteLok core that have been tried, tested and approved by the Electroheads team. Our fave scooter is the 8Tev B12! E-power to the people!