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Warning over private e-scooters

Sunderland City Council is working in partnership with Northumbria Police to combat the use of illegal private e-scooters on the city's public roads and pavements.


With Christmas approaching and children requesting e-scooters as Christmas presents, parents are advised that it is against the law to ride a private e-scooter on a public road or pavements.

E-scooters are classified as Personal Light Electric Vehicles so they are treated as motor vehicles and subject to the same legal requirements, like MOT, licensing, tax and insurance.

As e-scooters do not have number plates or signalling ability and don't always have visible rear lights, they can't be used legally on the roads.

Sunderland is one of 30 UK towns and cities currently carrying out an e-scooter rental trial. The trial started in Sunderland in March this year and will continue into 2022 so more data on their use can be gathered.

Currently, these e-scooters approved by Department for Transport (DFT) can be used within limited zones in Sunderland and are the only e-scooters permitted on Sunderland's streets.

The ongoing trial will determine how suitable e-scooters are for public use, but at present anyone found to be riding a private e-scooter on public paths and roads risks having it seized.

Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council and Portfolio Holder for Environment and Transport, Councillor Claire Rowntree, said: "E-scooters are becoming more popular, and in the run up to Christmas and children may be requesting them as presents.

"Parents should be aware that the use of private e-scooters is illegal and only the e-scooters that are approved by Department for Transport are permitted to be used within limited zones in Sunderland as part of a Government Trial.

"We ask that parents refrain from buying e-scooters as Christmas presents, or risk them being seized by Northumbria Police."

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