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Nicola Sturgeon: Police say e-scooters ‘still illegal’ after First Minister pictured on one

Nicola Sturgeon
Scotland's First Minister rides an e-scooter on Sunday

Police Scotland have said advice by the force that e-scooters are illegal still stands after Nicola Sturgeon was pictured riding one.

The First Minister was pictured riding an electric scooter during a campaign visit to Troon on Sunday.

Whilst electric scooters are available to purchase legally, Police Scotland advises it is currently against the law to ride a privately owned e-scooter in any public place in the UK.

Amused members of the public watched on, with the SNP leader trying out the scooters as she campaigned alongside her party’s candidate Siobhian Brown.

The First Minister was campaigning in Troon, but information on Police Scotland’s website indicates that the use of electric scooters in public places remains illegal.

“We hope to dispel and address some of the myths about where you can and can’t ride e-scooters,” the force’s guidance says.

It explains that e-scooters are not legal to ride in public places such as on roads, pavements, parks or town centres.

Riders can use them on private land but must have permission from the landowner.

Police Scotland said the UK Government recently introduced legislation to trial the use of e-scooters.

They said: “The UK Government introduced legislation trialling the use of e-scooters, through local authorities, for a period of 12 months via approved rental companies.

“There are currently no such rental schemes operating in Scotland and private use of e-scooters in a public place is not legal.”

Nicola Sturgeon
Police Scotland say the bikes shouldn’t be used in public spaces

They say that e-scooters are currently classified as Personal Light Electric Vehicles (PLEVs) and are treated as motor vehicles subject to the same legal requirements as any other motor vehicle, requiring insurance, a valid driving licence, and compliance with various construction and use requirements.

Speaking ahead of Christmas 2020, Superintendent Simon Bradshaw, Deputy Head of Road Policing, Police Scotland said: “We would urge people to fully understand the law and the implications of using an e-scooter on a road or other public place.

“The safety of all road users is our priority and the last thing we want to do is to ruin a Christmas by reporting them to the courts and taking away a much-loved and expensive Christmas gift.”

Police Scotland told The Courier on Monday that the guidance on its website was correct.

Neither the SNP or Nicola Sturgeon responded to a request for comment.

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