Yorkshire councillor's wife knocked over by e-scooter rider - but police say they won't confiscate them

A Humberside Police officer has said the force does not want to take a heavy-handed approach to e-scooters after a councillor said one knocked over his wife.

Inspector Tony Tilsley, a Humberside Police traffic officer, said e-scooters were illegal to ride outside of designated trial rental areas and nuisance use would be dealt with accordingly. He added more young people using them put the force between a rock and hard place when it came to enforcement, because officers did not want to seem harsh.

But Councillor Viv Padden told the inspector and councillors on East Riding Council’s safer and stronger communities sub-committee that something needed to be done about them after his wife was hit by one. It comes as East Riding councillors heard Scunthorpe was currently the only place in the Humber where e-scooters could be used on roads and they have to be rented.

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The committee heard e scooters were classed as a powered vehicle so they were subject to the same rules around licensing and road use. There are currently areas where e scooter rentals are being trailed, including York, but riders cannot venture outside designated zones. But because e-scooters can be bought in shops and online, their use has grown in recent years.

A councillor's wife was knocked over by an e-scooter riderA councillor's wife was knocked over by an e-scooter rider
A councillor's wife was knocked over by an e-scooter rider

Coun Padden said his wife did not hear anything before she was knocked over. The Tranby ward councillor said: “E-scooters are the bane of my life. My other half got knocked over by one in a side street. It zoomed past and they didn’t even say anything.

“Sometimes you get verbal abuse from people using them, what are we doing about them? I see some people on e-scooters with children as young as six or seven sat on them, doing 15 to 20mph. What are we going to do before something serious happens?”

Insp Tinsley said the force acknowledged e scooter use was rising and he felt their growth in popularity would only continue, but he said police did have the power to deal with people who used them irresponsibly.

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The officer said: “There’s a number of Government-sponsored and funded schemes in place to trial them at the moment, including one in Scunthorpe. If you rent and ride an e scooter in those places then you should do it responsibly and courteously. E-scooters will be here to stay as a form of green transport.

“If someone chooses to ride them in a nuisance manner it doesn’t make a different that they’re on an e scooter, we’ll deal with it in the same way that we’d investigate any nuisance vehicle use. E-scooter use outside of an officially sponsored scheme is illegal because they’re not suitably licensed.

“But we’re between a rock and hard place because e scooters are typically used by younger people. So it would seem harsh for us to come and take little Johnny’s e scooter off him because he was riding down a footpath. We acknowledge there’s issues with them but at present I wouldn’t define it as a widespread problem.”