Police forced to intervene and take action on e-scooter riders in Sunderland, force says as safety event planned
Police officers have been forced to ‘intervene and take action’ on riders of Sunderland’s new e-scooters.
Northumbria Police has confirmed officers will intervene where people are riding the scooters dangerously or while under the influence of alcohol.
They have warned that anyone who does not abide by the law faces prosecution ahead of a safety event which will take place in Keel Square.
As part of UN Road Safety Week, Sunderland residents are invited to come along to the ScootSafe event between 1pm and 5pm on Tuesday, May 18, to get more information about the scooters, find out how to use them safely and try them out.
The city’s e-scooter rental trial began at the end of March and saw up to 200 distinctive orange e-scooters deployed across the city.
At the safety event – which is held in partnership with Sunderland City Council, Northumbria Police and e-scooter operator Neuron – members of the public will be able to complete a 10-minute safety course and learn about some of the scooter’s features, including geofencing technology which controls where they can go and how fast they can travel in certain areas.
Sergeant Jane Munro, from Northumbria Police’s Road Safety Team, said: “It is important e-scooter riders make sure they are aware of the laws and guidance which are in place for the safety of all.
“Disappointingly, we have seen instances where it has been necessary for officers to intervene and take action.
“Anyone who does not abide by the law, and for example rides them dangerously or while under the influence of alcohol, faces being prosecuted, which could result in a number of penalties including points on their driving licence.
“We all have a responsibility to ensure our roads are safe – and we would encourage everyone to play their part.”
George Symes, Expansion Manager at Neuron Mobility, added: “The vast majority of riders in Sunderland have behaved responsibly, but we want to take this opportunity to reinforce the rules as well as our safety guidelines.
"Ultimately, we’re committed to providing a safe, convenient and environmentally-friendly service for our users but also for the general public.”
At the safety event, riders can take part in a Sunderland-specific Safe Rider Quiz designed to promote safe riding. Credits will be awarded to all Neuron’s users for completing the quiz.
Neuron is also highlighting other safety innovations including the ‘helmet selfie’ which awards riders free 30p credits if they take a picture of themselves wearing the helmet.
Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Graeme Miller said: “The nine-month trial currently underway with Neuron is providing the city with an excellent environmentally friendly new form of transport, and we have already seen many of our residents enjoying the e-scooters safely.
"As we get used to seeing the scooters around the city, many more people may want to try them out, especially as Covid-19 restrictions continue to be relaxed.”
Adding: "All Neuron e-scooters come with an app-controlled helmet and we urge riders to use these at all times. Riders who don’t follow the riding rules risk injuries, police prosecution, and could have their Neuron accounts suspended.