Electric scooter rider charged for illegal use on Dumfries road welcomed by safety campaigners

Safety campaigners today applauded police for seizing an electric scooter capable of 31mph that was being ridden illegally in Dumfries.

Its 29-year-old male rider has been charged with offences over putting himself, pedestrians and others on the road at risk in the incident on St Michael’s Bridge Road.

E-scooters are banned from roads and pavements in Scotland, and can only be used on private land.

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However, there have been few reports of police charging riders, and Police Scotland was unable to provide figures when requested by The Scotsman.

The electric scooter stopped in Dumfries. Picture: Police Scotland

The National Federation of the Blind of the UK said e-scooters were “terrifying” on pavements and in public spaces and they put visually-impaired people at “significant risk”.

Police Scotland, which published details on the incident on Tuesday, said: “Roads policing officers from Dumfries seized a Kugoo G2 Pro E-Scooter from a 29-year-old male after he was seen riding it on a public road in Dumfries, without having the relevant licence or insurance in place.

“The Kugoo G2 Pro E-Scooter is classed as a vehicle and has a maximum speed of 50kmh (approximately 31mph).

“The vehicle also contravened a number of construction and use offences putting himself, other road users and pedestrians at risk.

Electric scooters are illegal on roads and pavements in Scotland. Picture: Police Scotland

“The male was charged accordingly and a report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal.”

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Sandy Taylor, street access officer Scotland for the National Federation of the Blind of the UK, said: “We are really pleased the police are taking action on these illegal e-scooters.

"They are terrifying when ridden on pavements and public spaces, making these places unsafe for vulnerable pedestrians.

"Blind and visually-impaired people, like myself, are at significant risk as we cannot hear them coming and jump out of the way.

"We hope the police continue to take action and that they never become legal.”

The UK Government has approved a series of trial e-scooter hire schemes which are underway in several English towns and cities.

These allow their use on roads, cycle lanes and off-road cycle paths, but not on pavements.

Several Scottish councils have expressed an interest in following suit, such as Glasgow and Midlothian.

However, they have been unable to progress their plans because of the need for the Scottish Parliament to make legislative changes permitting e-scooter us eon roads north of the Border.

The IAM RoadSmart motoring group praised Police Scotland for enforcing the e-scooter ban, unlike other forces.

Neil Greig, its Scotland-based policy and research director, said: “The use of such machines on public roads is simply illegal, so Police Scotland are to be commended for actually enforcing the law, unlike many other forces across the UK.

"E-scooters offer no protection to their riders among normal traffic, so they are a risk to their owners as well as other road users, such as pedestrians.

"Only hire scooters in certain trial areas have any legality, but what this case does emphasis is the need to get on with the pilot studies and get some decisions made so consumers and the police have great clarity.

"Until the legal position on e-scooters is clear, they can’t make any real impact as a serious part of the future of transport.”

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