Road Safety Wales has issued a warning over the use of privately-owned e-scooters, reminding people it is illegal to use them on public roads, pavements or cycle paths.
It comes as trials of rental e-scooters are taking place in some parts of England. An electric scooter – or e-scooter – is similar to a two-wheeled manual scooter, except it is propelled by a motor.
The organisation has issued advice to anyone considering purchasing or using an e-scooter in Wales – that they risk being issued with a £300 fine, six penalty points on their driving licence and having the e-scooter seized.
Additionally, for any driver or motorcyclist that has passed their driving test in the last two years it could result in a driving disqualification and the need to re-take both the theory and practical driving test.
Teresa Ciano, Chair of Road Safety Wales said, “Trials of rental e-scooters are taking place in some parts of England, but e-scooters should only be used within the local area hosting the trial.
“Currently in Wales, the only place to legally ride an e-scooter is on private land with the permission of the land owner – everywhere else it is against the law.”
She added: “Some people may not realise that they are affecting anyone by illegally riding an e-scooter, but they can be incredibly frightening to someone with sight or hearing loss.
“We are asking people to consider how they would feel if they, or a member of their family with a visual or hearing impairment, were genuinely afraid of being knocked down by an e-scooter every time they went out.
“We are aware that some people are selfishly riding e-scooters on the pavement with no regard for the safety of others. This is totally unacceptable and we are grateful that our police colleagues are taking robust action against these individuals.”
Andrea Gordon from Guide Dogs Cymru said: “We are very concerned about the increase in e-scooter use. People with sight loss, who cannot hear or see them approaching, are particularly at risk.
“We don’t expect to find e-scooters on the pavement, and a near miss caused by an e-scooter can be so frightening that a person with sight loss stops going out independently.
“E-scooters will have a dramatic and irreversible effect on the street environment. Our pavements should be safe for everyone.”
The Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Stuart Baldwin said: “Please be aware that e-scooters can only legally be used in Wales on private land – any use of one on public roads, pavements or cycle paths is illegal and carries a risk to not only the safety of others but also the person riding it.
“While retailers may be happy to sell one to you, it can be seized the moment you attempt to use it in a public place and you could end up being fined, receiving penalty points on your driving licence and potentially even being disqualified from driving.”