Legality of electric powered scooters.

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Gavin Gillespie, Jan 29, 2003.

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  1. I know this is strictly not cycling, but it might serve as a warning to anyone thinking of giving
    one of these electric, or motorised scooters a try, or buying one for a child, or simply to advise
    anyone involved in an accident with one.

    A 16 year old boy has been prosecuted, and convicted, in Nottinghamshire, for drink driving whilst
    riding an electric powered scooter, after pleading guilty in court. A police spokesman said that
    these scooters can travel up to 20mph, and are covered by the same laws as any other powered vehicle
    on the road, and must comply with the appropriate licensing, insurance, and regulations, in order to
    be driven on roads, footpaths, or other public places.

    The lad said that he was not aware of this, and neither were any of his friends that were
    using them.
    --
    Gavin Gillespie Nottingham UK www.Giltbrook.co.uk www.LawrencesEastwood.co.uk
     
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  2. Sandy Morton

    Sandy Morton Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Gavin Gillespie
    <[email protected]> wrote:
    > A police spokesman said that these scooters can travel up to 20mph, and are covered by the same
    > laws as any other powered vehicle on the road, and must comply with the appropriate licensing,
    > insurance, and regulations, in order to be driven on roads, footpaths, or other public places.

    Different police forces have different opinions on this. Our local PC has borrowed an electric
    scooter from me!

    --
    A T (Sandy) Morton on the Bicycle Island In the Global Village
     
  3. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Gavin Gillespie wrote:
    > A police spokesman said that these scooters can travel up to 20mph, and are covered by the same
    > laws as any other powered vehicle on the road, and must comply with the appropriate licensing,
    > insurance, and regulations, in order to be driven on roads, footpaths, or other public places.

    That's only strictly true if you regard electric assisted bikes as "unpowered". An electric assisted
    bike is quite legal without all the above hoopla if it's within the regs: from the Kinetics website,
    "The legal limits for electric bikes in the UK are: Maximum assisted speed: 15mph (you can pedal
    faster than this, but the motor is not allowed to help you) Continuous power output: 200W (the motor
    can produce a higher power for a short period - but it must average no more than 200W)"

    IIRC in the UK you can just motor about legally on an "assisted" bike without the pedals going
    round, as long as you *can* assist it. Powabyke's range are built so the motor cuts out at 15 mph to
    ensure you stay legal, other builders might leave you the option of being naughty...

    I'm not quite sure if you could argue that a scooter had the motor "assisting" a scooting action,
    but you'll certainly fail at that as soon as you top 15 mph and still have the motor running.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  4. W K

    W K Guest

    "Peter Clinch" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Gavin Gillespie wrote:
    > > A police spokesman said that these scooters can travel up to 20mph, and are covered by the same
    > > laws as any other powered vehicle
    on
    > > the road, and must comply with the appropriate licensing, insurance, and regulations, in order
    > > to be driven on roads, footpaths, or other public places.
    >
    > That's only strictly true if you regard electric assisted bikes as "unpowered".

    Special category I think, as with your 15mph and 200W stuff. Power assisted. <...>

    > I'm not quite sure if you could argue that a scooter had the motor "assisting" a scooting action,
    > but you'll certainly fail at that as soon as you top 15 mph and still have the motor running.

    I seem to remember a court case - it has to be pedal assisted. Some daft git had one with tiny
    pedals on the front wheels that were impossible to use. As it was not possible to power it, it did
    not qualify, and they got done.
     
  5. "Peter Clinch" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Gavin Gillespie wrote:
    > > A police spokesman said that these scooters can travel up to 20mph, and are covered by the same
    > > laws as any other powered vehicle
    on
    > > the road, and must comply with the appropriate licensing, insurance, and regulations, in order
    > > to be driven on roads, footpaths, or other public places.
    >
    > That's only strictly true if you regard electric assisted bikes as "unpowered". An electric
    > assisted bike is quite legal without all the above hoopla if it's within the regs: from the
    > Kinetics website, "The legal limits for electric bikes in the UK are: Maximum assisted speed:
    > 15mph (you can pedal faster than this, but the motor is not allowed to help you) Continuous power
    > output: 200W (the motor can produce a higher power for a short period - but it must average no
    > more than 200W)"
    >
    > IIRC in the UK you can just motor about legally on an "assisted" bike without the pedals going
    > round, as long as you *can* assist it. Powabyke's range are built so the motor cuts out at 15 mph
    > to ensure you stay legal, other builders might leave you the option of being naughty...
    >
    > I'm not quite sure if you could argue that a scooter had the motor "assisting" a scooting action,
    > but you'll certainly fail at that as soon as you top 15 mph and still have the motor running.
    >

    The police spokesman did mention that electric assisted bikes were exempt, but was vague about the
    regulations covering scooters, it left me with the impression that they were to be regarded in law
    like mopeds. I think the lad got a 12 months driving ban, and a fine, so what was probably a bit of
    fun, has now cost him dearly.
    --
    Gavin Gillespie Nottingham UK www.Giltbrook.co.uk www.LawrencesEastwood.co.uk
     
  6. Danny Colyer

    Danny Colyer Guest

    Gavin Gillespie wrote:
    > I think the lad got a 12 months driving ban, and a fine, so what was probably a bit of fun, has
    > now cost him dearly.

    It's not a bit of fun when he knocks over some old dear and breaks her hip. I *hate* seeing these
    things ridden at 20mph on the pavement, and I'm always pleased when I read about the riders being
    prosecuted.

    (OK, you didn't state that he was riding on the pavement, but he was over the limit and I would
    hazard a guess, from the usual behaviour of the kids on these scooters, that he was on the pavement,
    it was dark and he had no lights).

    --
    Danny Colyer (remove safety to reply) ( http://www.juggler.net/danny ) Recumbent cycle page:
    http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/recumbents/ "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." -
    Thomas Paine
     
  7. Steve Watkin

    Steve Watkin Guest

    I think the rules are the same as for bikes. From memory that is Max 200watts and 15mph, there is
    also a weight restriction. As long as you comply with these rules the vehicle is treated like a
    pedal bike.

    SW

    "Gavin Gillespie" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I know this is strictly not cycling, but it might serve as a warning to anyone thinking of giving
    > one of these electric, or motorised scooters a try, or buying one for a child, or simply to advise
    > anyone involved in an accident with one.
    >
    > A 16 year old boy has been prosecuted, and convicted, in Nottinghamshire, for drink driving whilst
    > riding an electric powered scooter, after
    pleading
    > guilty in court. A police spokesman said that these scooters can travel up to 20mph, and are
    > covered by the same laws as any other powered vehicle on the road, and must comply with the
    > appropriate licensing, insurance, and regulations, in order to be driven on roads, footpaths, or
    > other public places.
    >
    > The lad said that he was not aware of this, and neither were any of his friends that were
    > using them.
    > --
    > Gavin Gillespie Nottingham UK www.Giltbrook.co.uk www.LawrencesEastwood.co.uk
     
  8. Chris French

    Chris French Guest

    In message <[email protected]>, Steve Watkin <[email protected]> writes
    >I think the rules are the same as for bikes. From memory that is Max 200watts and 15mph, there is
    >also a weight restriction. As long as you comply with these rules the vehicle is treated like a
    >pedal bike.
    >
    >
    I though the rules for electrically assisted cycles said that they had to have pedals as well?
    --
    Chris French, Leeds
     
  9. "Steve Watkin" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I think the rules are the same as for bikes. From memory that is Max 200watts and 15mph, there is
    > also a weight restriction. As long as you comply with these rules the vehicle is treated like a
    > pedal bike.
    >

    Not true according to tonight's news, scooters with a small petrol or electronic engine on the back,
    are classed as motor vehicles. The 16 year old lad was actually charged with drink driving, driving
    without a license, and having no insurance.
    --
    Gavin Gillespie Nottingham UK www.Giltbrook.co.uk www.LawrencesEastwood.co.uk
     
  10. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Gavin Gillespie wrote:

    > Not true according to tonight's news, scooters with a small petrol or electronic engine on the
    > back, are classed as motor vehicles. The 16 year old lad was actually charged with drink driving,
    > driving without a license, and having no insurance.

    IIRC when these things (then with a wee petrol motor) first appeared a couple of years back
    there was some degree of consternation followed by a ruling that they were motor vehicles and
    needed insurance. Nobody would issue insurance, thus endeth the brief reign of the petrol
    engined mini-scooter... I'd not come across electric ones before now, so wasn't sure what the
    rules were there.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  11. W K

    W K Guest

    "Gavin Gillespie" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "Steve Watkin" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > I think the rules are the same as for bikes. From memory that is Max 200watts and 15mph, there
    > > is also a weight restriction. As long as you comply with these rules the vehicle is treated like
    > > a pedal bike.
    > >
    >
    > Not true according to tonight's news, scooters with a small petrol or electronic engine on the
    > back, are classed as motor vehicles.

    The difference has been stated elsewhere. electric assisted pedal cycles are not motor vehicles.

    If its not got functional pedals or its got a petrol engine, its a motor vehicle.

    [even if the petrol engine is <200W]
     
  12. "Danny Colyer" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Gavin Gillespie wrote:
    > > I think the lad got a 12 months driving ban, and a fine, so what was
    > > probably a bit of fun, has now cost him dearly.
    >
    > It's not a bit of fun when he knocks over some old dear and breaks her hip. I *hate* seeing these
    > things ridden at 20mph on the pavement, and I'm always pleased when I read about the riders being
    > prosecuted.
    >
    > (OK, you didn't state that he was riding on the pavement, but he was over the limit and I would
    > hazard a guess, from the usual behaviour of the kids on these scooters, that he was on the
    > pavement, it was dark and he had no lights).

    I wasn't condoning what he did, just stating the consequences.
    --
    Gavin Gillespie Nottingham UK www.Giltbrook.co.uk www.LawrencesEastwood.co.uk
     
  13. Marc

    Marc Guest

    Gavin Gillespie <[email protected]> wrote:

    > The 16 year old lad was actually charged with drink driving, driving without a license, and having
    > no insurance.

    Which proved nothing about the scooter he was using, as he pleaded guilty.

    --
    Marc T Shirts, Sweatshirts, polo shirts, banners, signs,decals, stickers etc for clubs and
    associations of all types http://www.jaceeprint.demon.co.uk/
     
  14. In article <1fpjq7y.15xzwiz69x9dN%[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > Gavin Gillespie <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > The 16 year old lad was actually charged with drink driving, driving without a license, and
    > > having no insurance.
    >
    > Which proved nothing about the scooter he was using, as he pleaded guilty.

    If the scooter hadn't fallen under the motor vehicle regs then he could not have been charged with
    the offences above since they all relate to motor vehicles.

    Of course, it is possible of course that he was charged incorrectly, in which case this would be a
    miscarriage of justice.

    Colin
     
  15. Marc

    Marc Guest

    Colin Blackburn <[email protected]> wrote:

    > > Which proved nothing about the scooter he was using, as he pleaded guilty.
    >
    > If the scooter hadn't fallen under the motor vehicle regs then he could not have been charged with
    > the offences above since they all relate to motor vehicles.
    He can be charged with anything at all, that was my point, the charge proves nothing about whether
    the vehicle is a "motor vehicle" only whether the PC thought it was.
    >
    > Of course, it is possible of course that he was charged incorrectly, in which case this would be a
    > miscarriage of justice.

    Being charged can't be a miscarriage of justice and as he pleaded guilty neither can the deciscion.

    --
    Marc T Shirts, Sweatshirts, polo shirts, banners, signs,decals, stickers etc for clubs and
    associations of all types http://www.jaceeprint.demon.co.uk/
     
  16. "marc" <[email protected]> wrote > Being charged can't be a miscarriage of justice and as
    he pleaded guilty
    > neither can the deciscion.

    Well, what is it then when you plead guilty to a non-existent offence? It doesn't sound like a fair
    carriage of justice to me.

    Michael MacClancy
     
  17. marc wrote:
    > Colin Blackburn <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>>Which proved nothing about the scooter he was using, as he pleaded guilty.
    >>
    >>If the scooter hadn't fallen under the motor vehicle regs then he could not have been charged with
    >>the offences above since they all relate to motor vehicles.
    >
    > He can be charged with anything at all, that was my point, the charge proves nothing about whether
    > the vehicle is a "motor vehicle" only whether the PC thought it was.

    What the police charged in with and what the CPS took to court are two very different things

    >>Of course, it is possible of course that he was charged incorrectly, in which case this would be a
    >>miscarriage of justice.
    >
    >
    > Being charged can't be a miscarriage of justice and as he pleaded guilty neither can the
    > deciscion.

    Complete nonsense. If the crime wasn't committed yet you were charged with it and pleaded guilty
    that doesn't mean you are guilty just that the wrong charge was brought and the wrong advice given.
    The fact that the CPS brought this case to court on three counts relating to motor vehicles suggests
    either that the scooter fell withing those regs or that the CPS *and* a defence lawyer both bungled
    it. The guilty plea doesn't somehow cancel that out.

    Colin
     
  18. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    marc <[email protected]> wrote:

    > He can be charged with anything at all, that was my point, the charge proves nothing about whether
    > the vehicle is a "motor vehicle" only whether the PC thought it was.
    >
    >

    IIRC there was a case that set the precedent. As I remember it it related to someone that lost his
    driving license for drink driving. Conscious of not drink driving he had bought a motorised
    scooter to get home from the pub and was stopped and breathalysed using it. After going through
    the court system the drink driving charge was upheld. There will be a reference to it somewhere on
    the web I'm sure.

    Tony

    http://www.raven-family.com

    "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place" George
    Bernard Shaw.
     
  19. Marc

    Marc Guest

    Michael MacClancy <[email protected]> wrote:

    > "marc" <[email protected]> wrote > Being charged can't be a miscarriage of justice and
    > as he pleaded guilty
    > > neither can the deciscion.
    >
    >
    > Well, what is it then when you plead guilty to a non-existent offence?

    Stupidity?

    > It doesn't sound like a fair carriage of justice to me.

    That's because you make the mistake of thinking that an offence was committed, simply because
    something has happened that somone was charged with. It's only an proved to be an offence when the
    verdict has been given.

    If somone died of stab wounds and you were found with a blood stained knife, standing over the body,
    and where then charged with murder, that doesn't mean that a murder was commited or that you did it.

    --
    Marc T Shirts, Sweatshirts, polo shirts, banners, signs,decals, stickers etc for clubs and
    associations of all types http://www.jaceeprint.demon.co.uk/
     
  20. Marc

    Marc Guest

    Colin Blackburn <[email protected]> wrote:

    > > Being charged can't be a miscarriage of justice and as he pleaded guilty neither can the
    > > deciscion.
    >
    > Complete nonsense. If the crime wasn't committed yet you were charged with it and pleaded
    > guilty that doesn't mean you are guilty just that the wrong charge was brought and the wrong
    > advice given.

    I'm sorry but the scores on the doors only shows "Guilty" or "Not Guilty" there is no space for
    "wrong charge was brought and the wrong advice given", once the court says you are guilty you are
    "Guilty", whehter you did it or not is another thing entirely.

    --
    Marc T Shirts, Sweatshirts, polo shirts, banners, signs,decals, stickers etc for clubs and
    associations of all types http://www.jaceeprint.demon.co.uk/
     
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