Many people happily ride their escooters on pavements. However, quite a number of people have been fined for doing this. This is ultimately because it is not yet legal for you to ride it on the pavement in the UK.
What Does the Law Say?
According to escooter.co.uk you should not ride any vehicle that can cause pedestrians to be harmed. While the act does not mention riding escooters as they weren’t invented when Highways Act was delivered. They claim that these should not be ridden on the pavement. However, until there is a new law, many are trying to interpret it The Highway Act 1835 Section 72, although it is a 200-year-old law. We will quote it, to make it clear to you how inapplicable it is today:
“If any person shall wilfully ride upon any footpath or causeway by the side of any road made or set apart for the use or accommodation of foot passengers; or shall wilfully lead or drive any horse, ass, sheep, mule, swine, or cattle or carriage of any description, or any truck or sledge, upon any such footpath or causeway; or shall tether any horse, ass, mule, swine, or cattle, on any highway, so as to suffer or permit the tethered animal to be thereon. ”
– The Highway Act 1835 Section 72 (England and Wales)
We assume that you have now definitely understood why a new law is necessary, for new things like escooter. It is just impossible to apply to old ones, especially from the 19th century.
If you ride your escooter on the pavement, you should ensure it’s a quiet one. However, the 1988 Road Traffic Act can make a difference to this. This is even though more and more people are using them.
Escooters can easily help you get to where you need to be. They are also more environmentally friendly than many other forms of transportation, such as cars and trucks. If you want your mode of transport to be greener, then using this is the way to go.
Can I Ride An Escooter on the Pavement if I wear a Helmet?
At the time of writing (April 2024), no-one is legally permitted to ride an escooter on a pavement. This is regardless of whether a helmet is worn. While it always makes sense for you to wear a helmet, it, unfortunately, won’t get you out of trouble if you’re caught.
You might also want to protect your elbows and knees while riding. If you were to have a fall from your escooter, these are the areas of your body that are likely to get injured, in addition to your head.
Ensuring Escooters Have a Good Reputation
If you choose to ride an escooter on the pavement, please make sure you stay safe. When you ride your escooter safely, you’re less likely to be involved in an accident. An added benefit of this is that when pedestrians see that you are riding safely, you help to improve the reputation of people using it. This means the general public is more likely to agree that escooters are safe to use day-to-day.
This can only be a good thing. We know how useful and convenient escooters are. We also know that they can be a lot of fun. When they’re seen in a more positive light, those are much more likely to be accepted.
Are they safe?
They are generally safe, although due to the speed they reach, they can be potentially dangerous. They can hit almost fifty kilometers per hour, although most do not exceed twenty-five to thirty kilometers per hour. Some because of motor power, others because of the speed limits.
However, be careful while enjoying driving an escooter as even some fatalities have been reported. Television presenter Emily Hartridge is the first official death, caused by an escooter accident, in the UK. However, this does not mean that they are dangerous, they are much safer than some other means of transport. Just obey the laws and wear a helmet.
Changing the Legality
The Department of Transport has decided to consider the legality of escooters. Ministers were meant to make a decision in February 2024, however, nothing has been reported as yet. This is not great news, it just puts things on hold for the time being. It means we will have to wait a little longer before we can use escooters as and when we please.
While escooters are not yet allowed on roads or pavements, more and more people are using them. They’re also understanding just how environmentally friendly they are when they’re compared to other forms of transportation. If you want to reduce your impact on the environment escooters can help you.
When Will The Law Change?
We don’t yet have much information about when the UK government is going to change the law. In some parts of Europe and in the State of New York, it is now legal for people to ride escooters on the roads and pavements. While it might be years before we in the UK can do the same, the more popular escooters become the more pressure government ministers will be under to legalise their use.
However, there are positive indications that the law will change soon. First of all, thanks to groups like The London Cycle Campaign, which are strong advocates for passing the law about escooters. On the positive side, they cite reduced pollution because it does not produce carbon like cars. Also, then they could be driven on the road and not just on the sidewalk, which would bring multiple benefits.
One of the best things we can do right now is to ride our escooters safely. If we’re reckless and we cause accidents, the law and the public aren’t going to take too kindly to escooters. Let’s just hope that as escooters continue to become even more popular the British Government will notice. Being allowed to ride and escooter safely anywhere you please will not only be better for the environment, but it’ll also help to reduce the number of cars on the road.