Electric scooters were run over with jammer bikes this week as Merseyside police launched the summer force crackdown on harmful and reckless drivers.
Operation Brookdale has focused almost entirely on mountain bikes since its launch in 2012 to target vehicles used by armed thugs, drug dealers and anti-social behaviors that have caused misery in areas across the region. .
In recent years, e-bikes have started to replace jammer bikes as the escape vehicle of choice – the silence of the bikes being an added feature for criminals.
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But now electric scooters are also emerging as a growing problem for the police.
While the use of these devices has not been observed in many high-profile crimes, dangerous driving – including those who use them under the influence of alcohol and drugs – is a growing concern.
Vehicle-related injuries are also on the rise, especially where accidents result in electric scooter handlebars causing horrific liver injuries.
The popularity of electric scooters increased dramatically during the lockdown, with the Liverpool council and the city region participating in a year-long pilot program with VOI that made dozens available to the public.
The devices travel at a maximum speed of 10 mph, this speed being limited in parts of the city center, and can no longer be used after 9 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Technology is also now preventing electric scooters from accessing some of the busiest streets in the city center.
Using VOI electric scooters is perfectly legal and those who rent them are covered by insurance as part of their registration process.
But police want greater awareness of the laws surrounding their use, with key rules including that they can only be driven on roads and that drivers need at least a provisional driver’s license.
This week, two men were banned from driving for 16 months after they were seen driving erratically on them along Smithdown Road.
They were stopped by officers after they were seen sneaking side to side, zigzagging along the road and driving on the wrong side of the road. Both were under the influence of alcohol.
Following the case, Road Police Sergeant Tim Pottle said: ‘The VOI electric scooters, which are currently being tested in the Liverpool area, although they are legal for use on the roads, are still subject to motor vehicle laws and require a driver’s license.
“When officers believe that an offense has been committed or that the standards of conduct or conduct are dangerous for road users, action will be taken.”
Police are also concerned about other models of electric scooters.
Drivers must be insured to use them on city roads. However, Merseyside Police said they were not aware of any UK insurance provider for private electric scooters.
This means that the only place they can be legally used is on private land where the rider has permission from the owner.
Therefore, the only time you can legally ride an electric scooter in public in the city is if it is a VOI scooter, for which insurance is offered at the point of rental, and you l ‘use on the road.
Speaking to ECHO, Inspector Carl McNulty said: “We are seeing an increase in the number of e-scooters being used illegally in Merseyside.
It is illegal to drive an electric scooter anywhere other than on private land and only then, with the express permission of the landowner.
“If you drive one in public, you risk having your scooter seized, a fine or even points on your driver’s license. These scooters can cause serious or worse injury to the rider or other members of the public. We see injuries ranging from fractures to internal organ damage.
“The only time you can legally drive an electric scooter in a public area of the city is if it is a VOI scooter, for which insurance is offered at the point of rental, and you ‘use on the road in the test area.
“VOI electric scooters are still subject to motor vehicle laws and require a driver’s license. However, although they are legal, if officers believe that an offense has been committed or that the standard of driving or driving is dangerous for road users, so take action will be taken. ”
He added: “We understand that electric scooters can appeal to many people for a variety of reasons, whether it is to get to work, to buy as a gift for someone or to enjoy it as a fun activity, but we must emphasize the fact that to use them in public is illegal and may pose a risk to your safety and that of others, so it is important to use them safely and legally.