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E-scooters: Think before you buy

Last week I met with Peter Bungay, Service User Voice Officer, for guide dogs and his dog Stevie. We spoke about e-scooters and how they are being used in the BCP area.

Peter told me that sight loss groups had been involved in trials across the country, including the beryl trial in BCP and that a lot of the advice given to the council had be listened to and acted upon, Peter had raised concerns over the positioning of ‘docking stations’ and scooters being discarded on pavements and steps have been taken to address these issues - but both Peter and I share the same concerns over the use of illegal scooters in our county.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that e-scooters have the potential to be a transformative form of personal transport – if used correctly, and within the law, but I still think there is room for improvement - for example, I would like to see properly visible, moped sized ‘registration’ plates on the Beryl scooters.

Dorset police take an education and seizure stance on e-scooters and regularly remove them from our streets. When it comes to enforcement, an e-scooter is classed as a powered transporter and they are treated as a motor vehicle and fall under the road traffic act 1988. They are subject to the same legal requirements as motor vehicles. This includes mot, tax, licensing, insurance, and specific construction regulations.

If you are caught using a powered transporter (e-scooter) on a public road, pavement, or other prohibited space you are committing a criminal offence and could be prosecuted.

I have to say that I take issue with the irresponsible retailers who sell these items, they are quite simply misleading the public. You cannot buy and use an e-scooter on any public land and that includes roads, pavements, pathways, bridleways or walkways – so unless you personally own great swathes of land in Dorset you simply cannot ride these machines legally.

So once again, my advice this Christmas is don’t buy an e-scooter unless you want to run the risk of having it seized by the police and potentially being prosecuted for using it.


David Sidwick

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner


For more information go online  - EScooters | Dorset Police

To report issues relating to the use of Beryl e-scooters please contact the Beryl control room on 020 3003 5044 – open 7am to 9pm, 7 days a week or go online at Beryl-BCP



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