A woman from the Isle of Wight is believed to be the first person to be banned from UK roads for drink-driving an e-scooter.
Kyah Jordan, the woman in question was almost three times over the limit when she went through a red light and almost crashed into an unmarked police car. Magistrates had heard that she had been drinking double shots of rum before riding the e-scooter through Newport on the Isle of Wight in December.
She was banned from driving for two years and given a community order.
The Met Police have said that fines and penalty points will be handed to e-scooter riders jumping a red light, using a mobile phone or riding on the pavement.
It remains illegal to use a privately owned e-scooter on public roads, cycle lanes or pavements. Owners risk a £300 fine, six penalty points on their driving license and an additional fine for not having insurance.
However, when it comes to rentals, government guidance says that the operating company will provide insurance, the rental can be ridden-with a full or provisional driving license-at up to 15.5 mph (incidentally a higher speed than what Ms Jordan was going at) on roads in regions where they are being trialled.
The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety has said that there are legitimate safety concerns for both riders and pedestrians when it comes to the e-scooters. Executive director David Davies has applauded John Lewis, as it has stopped selling the scooters.
To add fuel to the fire about e-scooters, the Met’s Chief Supt Simon Ovens has said that anyone given an e-scooter should consider taking it back to the shop. He believes ‘getting on one of these things is plain craziness. It’s got to be made clear that they’re not to be used in public places.’
Retailers say that demand remains extremely high. Public affairs director Tom McPhail, said Pure Electric was selling several thousand a month, in a report published by Natwest in December.
The Transport Committee has called for e-scooters to be made legal, claiming that. ‘E-scooters have the potential to become an exciting and ingenious way to navigate our streets and get from place to place. If this gets people out of the car, reducing congestion and exercising in the open air, then even better.’
It will be interesting to see how this pans out. Will the environment or safety win out?