By Lee Xuan Yi
A recent incident where an e-scooter rider in the UK was injured when overtaken by a public bus has brought into light the legal issues surrounding the use of e-scooters.
The current legal uncertainty
The rider was wearing a high-visibility jacket and helmet when driving on a public road. He suffered multiple fractured ribs, a dislocated right shoulder, and a collapsed lung when clipped by a bus.
Current UK law classifies private e-scooters as ‘powered transporters’ which can only be ridden on private land. Theoretically then, private e-scooters cannot be legally driven on pavements or cycle paths. As such, the injured rider will be unable to bring legal claims against motorists. However, the government is exploring the possibility of changing legislation in this area to legalise e-scooter use.
What about Singapore?
The use of e-scooters in Singapore is specifically governed by the Active Mobility Act, where persons aged 16 and above must register their e-scooters with the Land Transport Authority. E-scooters are explicitly banned from being ridden on roads, footpaths, or on pedestrian-only paths.