Sussex Police are launching enforcement action on the use of electric scooters in public throughout February.

There has been increasing public concern about road safety, with frequent reports of e-scooters riding on pavements and crime reports linked to e-scooters.

Currently, it is illegal to ride an e-scooter on a public road or public place in the UK, and this month our Neighbourhood Policing Teams will be carrying out proactive patrols across Sussex to enforce the law.

Officers across the force will also continue to enforce the law on e-scooters as part of their regular policing responsibilities.

Superintendent James Collis said: “There have been plenty of warnings and advice to electric scooter users about how the vehicles cannot be used here in Sussex.

“We are here to enforce the law and ensure riders stay within the law. E-scooter riders found riding in public roads or in public places could face arrest and prosecution.

“Riders are subject to the same laws a motorist would need to drive lawfully on the road, including the requirement to have a valid licence, insurance, registration plates and vehicle licensing, and to have the correct registration.

“E-scooters are illegal because there are currently no legal ways to register, insure or tax them in Sussex.”

Owners are being advised that if they are seen riding an e-scooter in Sussex they can be arrested for offences such as; driving an e-scooter under the influence of drink or drugs, driving an e-scooter whilst disqualified or causing death or serious injury via a collision whilst driving an e-scooter.

As well as the potential for arrest you may be prosecuted and the e-scooter being seized.

Section 59 of the Police Reform Act allows police to give road users a warning if they are reported to have used their vehicle in a manner which causes alarm, distress or annoyance.

Meanwhile Section 165 of the Road Traffic Act gives police the power to seize vehicles.

While there are Government trials taking place under the Future Transport scheme, with the aim of gaining further insight into the environmental, health, and safety benefits of these types of vehicles, there are currently no areas in Sussex taking part in these trials.

E-scooters should only be used on private land with the owner’s permission.

Sussex Police will be working with the support of the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership and the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner to ensure road safety during the enforcement action in February.

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “As the law stands at the moment e-scooters can only be ridden on private land and Sussex Police have made it clear that they will continue to enforce the law.

“My advice is – don’t ride them in public or you run the risk of injury to yourself and others, being fined or having the e-scooter seized.”

What happens if I am stopped by Sussex Police?

The scooter may be seized and the officer may penalise you further, depending on the seriousness of the offence. If caught riding an e-scooter, fines you may receive can include:

  • A £300 fine and six penalty points for not having valid insurance.
  • A £100 fine and three to six penalty points on your licence for driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence.
  • Other offences which may result in penalties include riding on the footpath, using a mobile phone, riding through red lights and drink driving offences.

For the full legal advice surrounding the use of electric scooters, please see our online page here