Police in the Ipswich and surrounding area are conducting a month-long campaign on the illegal use of e-scooters in the area.
Currently in the UK, you can legally buy an e-scooter, but you cannot ride it on a public road, cycle lane or pavement. The only place it can be used is on private land.
The purpose of the campaign, that will run for the whole of August, is to highlight to the public the current legal status of e-scooters, whilst also removing them from the roads and pavements where powers allow.
Police are keen to educate owners and riders of privately-owned e-scooters about the current legislation and, where appropriate, take enforcement action, especially where there is evidence of anti-social behaviour, other riding offences, persistent use or wider criminality.
As part of regular patrols, police will also visit retailers to advise staff of the legal requirements and ask them to remind customers of the risk of potential enforcement action if they are used inappropriately.
Sgt Ben Towns from Ipswich West and Hadleigh Safer Neighbourhood Team said: “It is important that riders understand the legislation that governs the use of e-scooters. There has been an increase in the profile and the use of e-scooters in Ipswich and other towns and cities across the country.
“We’re not trying to target young people, but it is important to understand people could put themselves or others at risk if the e-scooter is being ridden in a dangerous manner. Additionally, if it is a gift for a child, please ensure they, as well as you, know the rules before buying one.
“E-scooters are treated as motor vehicles by the Department of Transport and are subject to the same legal requirement as other vehicles, such as MOT, licencing, tax and insurance. Because they don’t always have number plates, signalling ability or visible rear lights, they cannot be used legally on the roads.”
If caught riding an e-scooter on public land, fines you may receive can include a Fixed Penalty Notice for no insurance, with a £300 fine and six penalty points; a Fixed Penalty Notice for no driving licence, and up to £100 fine and three-six penalty points.
Other offences which may result in penalties include riding on the footpath, using a mobile phone, riding through red lights and drink driving offences.
The campaign will focus on the operational policing area of Ipswich, Woodbridge, Felixstowe and Hadleigh and will form part of the overall plan to tackle anti-social behaviour in these areas over the summer.
Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: “E-scooter riders are becoming a menace on our roads and pavements, I have had several complaints from Suffolk residents worried for their safety when they’re out and about, particularly when the e-scooters are used on pavements in our towns.
“Riders must be aware they can only use their e-scooters on private land, they must not be used on public spaces or on our roads.
“I fully support the Constabulary’s campaign to highlight this issue, those ignoring the law and causing dangers for other road users and pedestrians will be fined if they are caught.”