The government has released its guidance for people taking part in e-scooter trials in the UK.
The trials will take place in the Tees Valley Combined Authority area, which includes Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees.
They were given the go-ahead by the government a year earlier than planned as part of a drive to encourage fewer people to use public transport during the coronavirus crisis.
The e-scooters in the trial will be limited to 15.5mph and others may be capped at a lower speed.
However, it remains against the law to use a privately owned e-scooter, and users elsewhere could be fined, given penalty points on their licence and have their e-scooter impounded.
Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen said he was “thrilled” for the trial.
“I have been a big fan of e-scooters for a very long time, and when the government announced their plans to fast track their introduction, it was obvious that our region should be the first trial area.
“So, I am thrilled that the UKs first trail on e-scooters on UK roads will take place across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.”
Mr Houchen said 100 e-scooters would be involved in the initial trial.
Under the government’s guidance for the e-scooter trial, users must have a category Q entitlement on their driving licence, allowing them to drive two-wheeled and three-wheeled vehicles without pedals, along with motor insurance provided by the rental operator.
They are also recommended to wear cycle helmets, but this is not a legal requirement.
The e-scooters can be used on both roads and cycle lanes, but not motorways. They cannot be used on the pavement.
The government’s safety rules
- Scooters should only be used within the local area hosting the trial
- They should only be used by one person at a time
- They must not be used to tow anything
- People must not use a mobile phone when using an e-scooter
- They may use a screen to display navigation information, but it must be set up before a journey begins
- Bags must not be hung from the handlebars or in a way that could cause a danger to users or those around them
- People must not ride e-scooters while drunk and could be prosecuted under drink- or drug-driving laws if they do. Careless and dangerous driving offences can also apply to e-scooter users
- People should also refer to the terms of the use of the e-scooter operator before renting a trial e-scooter
The trials are due to last 12 months.
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