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Advice on the use of motorised vehicles

Alert message sent 08/01/2019 15:35:00

Information sent on behalf of Cambridgeshire Constabulary

Dear subscribers,
We have recently received complaints about inappropriate use of motorised scooters and have been asked by residents to clarify whether they are legally allowed to be ridden on the public highway (including the road and pavements).
Electric scooters, go-peds, mini motos, hoverboards or Segways
These are all examples of vehicles that may be considered in legal terms to be motor vehicles and are therefore subject to all the usual legal requirements that apply to cars or motorcycles e.g. tax, insurance, registration and licensing and driver licensing. They cannot therefore be used on a road unless they conform to the law and many such vehicles will never be 'road legal' as their design fails to meet UK or EC road vehicle standards. Furthermore, such vehicles cannot legally be used on the pavement either, in fact the only place they can be used is on private land with the landowner's permission.

Some people think that because such vehicles are small they are toys and therefore the law doesn't apply but the legislation does not exempt 'toys' and the physical size of the vehicle is no great indicator of whether it's a child's toy.

If such vehicles are used on the road/pavement by young people, not only may the rider be committing a number of offences but their parents may also face prosecution for aiding and abetting or permitting the offences.

Electrically assisted pedal cycles
Electrically assisted pedal cycles that meet the requirements of the Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles Regulations 1983 can be driven on the road and don't need to be taxed, registered, insured and the rider won't need a driving licence but they must be at least 14 years of age. The main requirements listed in the Regulations are that:
  • the bike must have pedals that can be used to propel it
  • the electric motor shouldn't be able to propel the bike when it's travelling more than 15.5 mph
  • the bike (including its battery but not the rider) must not be heavier than 40 kilograms (kg) if it's a bicycle, or 60kg if it's a tandem or tricycle
  • the motor shouldn't have a maximum power output of more than 250 watts
  • the bike must have a plate showing the manufacturer, the nominal voltage of the battery, and the motor's power output
    Vehicles that don't meet the requirements of the Regulations are not Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles will therefore need to be taxed, registered, insured and the rider will require a license. The vehicle will also have to comply with type approval requirements. If you are considering buying such a vehicle we would suggest you only buy from a reputable dealer who is able to provide you with the relevant assurances that the vehicle is a proper electrically assisted pedal cycle.

Anyone who has any further questions relating to the use of these vehicles is welcome to reply to this email.

PCSO 7293 Hurley
Online Communities PCSO
Message sent by
Lee Hurley (Police, PCSO, Huntingdonshire)

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