Electric bikes and scooters - what are the rules?

Date published: 19 September 2023 13:43
Dated: 19 September 2023 14:39:43

Over recent years the ‘e-scooter’ and ‘e-bike’ has hit our streets and within South Yorkshire, we’re seeing the impact these machines can have on those riding them, as well as other road users.

As ‘Vulnerable Road Users’ week continues, we’re reminding riders of electric bikes and scooters where they can, and can’t ride their machines, and urging other road users to be vigilant of the risks they pose.

If you are thinking about buying an electric bike or scooter, or have already purchased one, please ensure you are familiar with the law and regulations around riding them.

Electric Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPC), more commonly known as electric bikes, are legal to ride if you are over the age of 14 and do not require a licence or need to be registered, taxed or insured.
An EAPC must have pedals that can be used to propel it. It must show either the power output or the manufacturer of the motor.

It must also show either the battery’s voltage or the maximum speed of the bike.

Its electric motor must have a maximum power output of 250 watts and should not be able to propel the bike when it’s travelling more than 15.5mph.

Roads Policing Sergeant Mark Bradey, leading Vulnerable Road week, explains more about electric bikes, he said: “Electric bikes that do not meet the EAPC rules are classed as a motorcycle or moped and need to be registered, insured and taxed.

“You’ll need a driving licence to ride one and you must wear a crash helmet.

“Any person riding such a vehicle which does not meet the criteria who is disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving licence will commit the offence of driving while disqualified.”

Electric scooters can be bought from most toy stores and cycle shops. They are powered by a battery motor and generally have no pedals with them, this makes them illegal to use on a public road, pavement or cycle lane and the use of these machines is restricted to private land.

Sergeant Bradey continued: “As Vulnerable Road Users week continues, we’re urging those who own a bike to be responsible and understand the risks associated with your machine and where you ride it, as well as reminding pedestrians, cyclists and drivers to be vigilant for those on bikes and if you have any concerns of someone’s driving manner, please get in touch and report it. To report, note as much information about the rider and machine and contact us online, via live chat or by calling 101.”

For more information please visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/e-scooter-trials-guidance-for-users

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