Parents warned against buying children e-scooters for Christmas as Sunderland City Council and Northumbria Police crackdown on illegal use

Parents have been warned not to buy children e-scooters for Christmas with city leaders stressing than only Council approved scooters, which are part of an official trial, are able to be used in Sunderland.

Sunday, 31st October 2021, 5:00 am

The statement was issued as Sunderland City Council and Northumbria Police look to clamp down on the illegal use of private e-scooters on the city’s public roads and pavements.

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

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 children may be requesting them as presents.

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Sunderland City Council and Northumbria Police have stressed only e-scooters approved as part of a city wide trial can be used on the city's roads.

“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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E-scooters are classified as Personal Light Electric Vehicles so they are treated as motor vehicles and subject to the same legal requirements including 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 across the UK 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.

The e-scooters in the trial have been approved by the Department for Transport to be used within limited zones in Sunderland and are the only e-scooters permitted on the city’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 is doing so illegally.

A survey carried out by e-scooter trial provider, Neuron, revealed nearly half (42%) of e-scooter rides had directly displaced car journeys, potentially meaning around 12,000 fewer car trips in Sunderland.

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