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Electric Scooters: Lighting

Question for Department for Transport

UIN HL3892, tabled on 9 November 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether electric scooters are legally required to have lights.

Answered on

19 November 2021

The Government held a consultation in 2018 to consider cycling offences causing serious injury or death as well as reviewing existing cycling offences.

The Government believes that there should be a separate framework of cycling offences, as compared with motoring offences, because it may not be proportionate to apply offences and their corresponding penalties intended for drivers of motor vehicles, to cyclists. The response to the consultation will be published before the end of this year but early next year at the latest.

On e-scooters, privately-owned e-scooters are illegal to use on the road, cycle lanes or pavements, and they can only be ridden on private land with the permission of the landowner. The law is very clear and there are existing penalties for improper use.

Although it is not a specific offence to cycle and use headphones, cyclists could be prosecuted by the police for careless or dangerous cycling. Cyclists and users of trial e-scooters have a duty to behave in a safe and responsible manner and need to concentrate like all other road users and should not do anything that would affect their concentration and put themselves and other road users in danger.

For those who do not adopt a responsible attitude, or if their use of the highway creates an unsafe environment or causes nuisance, there are laws in place that can make them liable for prosecution.

In the UK, e-scooters are treated like any other motor vehicle under the Road Traffic Act. The Government is running trials of rental e-scooters to assess their safety and wider impacts. We require trial e-scooters to meet minimum standards on the e-scooter design, including what lighting is required through administrative vehicle orders issued by the Secretary of State under s.44 and s.63 of the Road Traffic Act. The evidence gathered during the trials will inform whether e-scooters should be legalised in the future, and how we can ensure their use is as safe as possible.