ELECTRIC scooters are popping up on streets across Oxford as part of a new exciting initiative jointly run by Oxfordshire County Council and Voi Technology.

They are being hailed as a success amongst residents with thousands of rides taken since their launch in February, but there is a lot of confusion around where they can be used.

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What is classes as an e-scooter?

In legislation, an e-scooter is classed as a powered transporter and are treated as a motor vehicle and so fall under the Road Traffic Act.

This means that they are subject to all the same legal requirements as motor vehicles; MOT, tax, licensing, insurance and specific construction regulations.

As they cannot currently meet these requirements, any e-scooter which is not part of this trial, remains illegal to use other than on private land which must not be accessible to the public.

Where can I ride an e-scooter then?

Under UK law, it is permitted to ride an electric scooter on private land as long as people have the landowner's permission.

But it is an offence to ride them in public – including on paths, pavements and roads.

Can I be fined for riding an e-scooter?

Any person who rides one on a public road, pavement or other prohibited space is committing a criminal offence and can be prosecuted.

In addition, the penalty for driving without insurance is a fine of £300 and up to six points on driving licence.

Laws on drink and drug driving also apply to trial e-scooters, as do those for inconsiderate and dangerous driving.

If people use them in public in an anti-social manner, they can also be seized by officers under section 59 of the Police Reform Act.

Do I need to wear a helmet?

Despite the potential speed of an e-scooter, there is no legal requirement to wear a helmet.

However, official guidance from the Department for Transport recommends wearing a helmet if using a rental trial e-scooter.