Britain’s biggest police force will no longer routinely seize e-scooters being ridden illegally on public roads.
The Met will instead seize them only from repeat offenders or when needed to keep the public safe, a move that was slammed by MPs and campaigners who branded the vehicles death traps.
The force has seized 3,637 privately owned e-scooters this year, but anyone stopped while riding one illegally will now have the law explained to them rather than see their scooter instantly seized.
Peter Bone, Conservative MP for Wellingborough, said the new approach to enforcement beggars belief, and he added they should be hardening their position on e-scooters, not softening it, that they were a menace and a danger, and that if someone is riding them illegally they should be confiscated.
Sarah Gayton, a street access campaign coordinator at the National Federation of the Blind, said there was no excuse for riders not to understand the extremely clear law prohibiting the use of privately owned e-scooters on public roads.
She said the police should just take them from people who are riding them illegally, then people would quit riding them illegally, and that the accident rate amongst young people was terrible.
At least six people have died in accidents involving e-scooters since July 2020, with about 200 riders severely injured.
Scotland Yard accused retailers of marketing the vehicles without making consumers knowledgeable of the laws.
Commander Kyle Gordon, head of roads policing, said it’s especially unhelpful that retailers, completely knowledgeable of the risks they’re creating, continue to profit from marketing machines prohibited for use on public roads without adequate guidance.
He said that he was calling on retailers not to exploit their customers in the run-up to Christmas.
The thing is if retailers weren’t permitted to sell these e-scooters, then people wouldn’t purchase them because they wouldn’t be on sale, and if it’s illegal for people to ride these illegal e-scooters, then it should be illegal for shops to market them and they should also be fined for selling them.
Sadly e-scooters are here to stay and they will increasingly become part of our everyday life unless our Government stop these shops from selling them, but of course, they’re an inexpensive, eco-friendly mode of personal transport so people, particularly young people are going to want to own one.
These scooters are extremely hazardous to pedestrians, especially the elderly for whom a collision could be deadly, and illegal e-scooters don’t have any tax or insurance, so there is no come back on the person using one, but for the person who’s been hurt or even killed for that matter, there’s no personal injury claim to be had.
These e-scooters are often ridden/driven at high speed on the pavement and pedestrian areas and I for one don’t like them because being disabled I could be knocked over by one at any given moment and have had them flying past me and quite honestly it takes the wind out of my sails as they go past.
Next, the police won’t be prosecuting bank robbers, they’ll just be stopping them and explaining the law.
Our police are supposed to uphold the law, they’re not supposed to choose which laws they hold up, and we’re becoming a nation of doing what you like, where you like when you like.
This is a dereliction of duty. I mean, how difficult would it be for the police to remove an illegally ridden e-scooter. Just stop the rider, and if it’s illegal, seize it there and then, put it in the boot of the police vehicle, problem solved. But no, the police have now effectively validated an illegal and hazardous activity, so we should be seeing some more injuries or even worse.