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Further action taken against illegal and unsafe e-scooter use

Dorset Police has held another operation in Bournemouth to ensure that e-scooters are being used legally and safely.

The day of action on Friday 9 July 2021 saw 10 riders of privately owned e-scooters stopped and spoken to before being issued with first warnings. Advice was given before the individuals were asked to sign an agreement that they will stop using their e-scooter illegally on public roads.

In addition, eight riders of e-scooters hired through the Beryl trial scheme currently operating in Bournemouth and Poole were stopped for using them improperly, including riding on pavements.

E-scooters, also known as electric scooters, have seen a surge in popularity over the last few months, but privately owned e-scooters are currently illegal to use in public spaces. This includes roads, pavements, cycle lanes, beach promenades or any publicly accessible land, such as parks and car parks.

Sergeant Rhys Griffiths, who led the operation, said: “We spoke to lots of people to explain the rules around e-scooters and the dangers they can pose to pedestrians and other road users. Generally people were understanding and appreciated the advice they were given.

“Many of those we spoke to said they they’d not been told the rules around privately owned e-scooters when they bought them. Officers are looking to work with local retailers to ensure that the right information is provided to allow customers to make an informed purchase.”

Trial e-scooter rental schemes are taking place in various locations across the UK, including Bournemouth and Poole, which allows individuals to hire an e-scooter and use it on roads and cycle lanes. They must not be used on pavements. Privately owned e-scooters are not part of the current trial.

Sergeant Rhys Griffiths continued: “We’ve seen complaints about e-scooters increase across our communities, with many concerned about the illegal use of privately owned e-scooters, as well as those being used improperly as part of the hire scheme.

“If you are concerned about hired e-scooters being used in a way they shouldn’t be, please contact Beryl in the first instance who have their own measures in place to stop those who repeatedly break the terms of use. We work closely with Beryl and will follow up where it’s needed.”

David Sidwick, Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Dorset, joined officers on the operation as the use of e-scooters has been a major concern for him over recent months.   

David said: “I’m so pleased that this operation has taken place within my first 100 days in office. E-scooters could be a transformative mode of transport, but at this moment in time we’re not using them in a safe manner. 

“I ask everybody in Dorset, please don’t ride an e-scooter on public land. If you take part in the pilot hire scheme, please only use it on the road. Make sure there is only one person riding an e-scooter at any time and do not give it to someone who is underage.

“Let’s make certain that we all stay safe, both those who ride e-scooters and pedestrians.”

Sergeant Griffiths added: “We are here to support our communities and we don’t want to stop anyone enjoying the summer, but we do want to make sure people aren’t causing problems for others or committing an offence. 

“Riders could face a fine, penalty points on their licence or even disqualification from driving, as well as having their e-scooters seized and destroyed.”

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