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Hoverboards and Scooters on UK streets

 

Is it legal or illegal using an electric light vehicle?

 

The rules of the road or the err… pavement.

You’ve probably seen online videos of people using electric scooters and electric monowheels. You might’ve already seen people zipping past you on the streets with them. As ‘self-balancing’ electric unicycles and electric scooters become more common across the UK, more people are starting to realize how much they can change their transport experience. Whether it’s commuting to work or simply riding around for pleasure, it’s amazing to discover how far these vehicles can take you. But what is the legality of riding them in public places? Here we have some handy facts to keep you on the right side of the law.

 

Where can I ride an electric scooter?

Unfortunately, it is not a regulation on where to ride electric scooters in the UK. Because they are motorized, are considered motorized vehicles by the Department for Transport and subject to road traffic laws. Oddly enough, electric bicycles, which are also powered, are waived from these requirements and are legal to ride under their own rules. The laws dealing with new electric motorized vehicles are woefully out of date. These new vehicles are green, make wonderful substitutes for bicycles and can reduce congestion in crowded cities. Personally, when using my e-scooter in London, I cut my commute time by a half and was able to operate the scooter safely in the bicycle lanes without any issue but let’s see

Under the Road Vehicles (Construction & Use) Regulations 1986, the Department of Transport considers these electric scooters to be motor vehicles even though they travel at less than 18mph. These vehicles need to obtain registration and comply with basic safety standards. Most two-wheeled vehicles that travel faster than 4mph have to comply with the European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA), which came into operation on 17 June 1999. The European Union does not understand how to classify these new personal electric vehicles. Member countries can pass their own specific legislation to handle them but the United Kingdom has refused to do so.

The Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 (VERA) states that every mechanically propelled vehicle used or kept on a public road should be registered and licensed. Because electric scooters do not meet the relevant requirements for use on UK roads they cannot be registered and licensed for use on a public road in the United Kingdom. As a consequence, any user of such a vehicle on a public road is likely at the very least to be committing the offenses of using the vehicle without insurance and using the vehicle without an excise license.

 

So What should I do?

Even when it is a relaxation enforcing the law is important to keep in mind everything from above. From our side, as a reseller, distributor, and enthusiast specialized in Light Electric Vehicles (LEVs), we make sure all vehicles sold by us are CE Compliance and comply with basic safety standards required to date. We have a lot of feedback from our clients and from own personal experiences commuting around, the best advice is the Common Sense Rule and here are few tips just in case:

  • Riding on pavement or crowded areas use your foot to kick.
  • Wear a helmet, high-visibility vest and use a bell (electric vehicles are pretty quiet so make sure people can see you)
  • Limit the speed of your scooter to 15.5mph on urban areas. (Check your manual on how to or contact us)
  • Cycle routes are the best place to ride. You are not a motorbike even if you feel like one
  • Respect road signs, rules, and other road users.
  • Smile and enjoy!

 Make you commute the best moment of your day.

 

The future is bright. The age of urban transport is upon us. So hop on and enjoy!

 

More information:

New European Standard

European Committee for Standardization 

 

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What are Rideables?

ridable

or rideable

adjective

  1. capable of being ridden, as a horse.
  2. capable of being ridden over, through, etc., as a road or a stream.

 

Electric skateboards, unicycles, scooters, rocketskates, hoverboards, ebikes: high tech rideables have arrived. Personal transportation comes in an ever-growing number of forms these days. Sure, we’ve had bikes and scooters and skateboards for a while, but now we can add motors (and the internet?) to anything with wheels. This progress could be revolutionary, but so far, no one has lived up to the Segway hype of changing how city planning is done.

Portable Vehicles or Rideables are a category of transportation that is emerging . Is bycicle a rideable? No. Well, in general terms, it is. But not within the context of this trend. For us a product to be considered a rideable it needs the following characteristics:

  • Weight less than 10 kgs (this is a limit for what people can carry)
  • Aside from the weight, it needs to be carried with a hand easily if you cannot ride on it
  • Fits easily under the seat on a bus/train/public transit or it can be carried on your legs or between your legs
  • Self-powered/electric or use any energy source other than the human that is riding on it
  • It can go on roads, sidewalks or inside buildings (malls)
  • It can go for at least 10 kms without the need to be recharged
  • Fast enough to cover 3 kms (the last-mile) in less than 25 mins
  • Comfortable enough to ride it for 25 mins without feeling tired or unconfortable
  • Easy to learn and ride for the first time in no more than 5 hours
  • Can go through obstacles that are at least 4 cms height

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Hoverboard Safety

is my hoverboard safe?

Many of us have been warned about is the risk of fire when charging your Hoverboards & Swegways. It’s been reported that some of the Hoverboards & Swegways on sale in the UK could have parts which catch fire. The image above is taken by a father who purchased a cheap Swegway from Amazon which was delivered directly from China.

Although all self balance scooters are manufactured in China, it is up to the vendor (us) to make sure that during the manufacturing process the right materials and specifications are used to ensure the safety of the product, meeting UK and European standards of quality and safety.

Many products that you will find on Amazon, E-Bay and the likes will come directly from China without any attention to safety which outline in this article.

The plug ports are not safe or will not be fused, the batteries will be China standard batteries that are likely to fault or not have a cut-off point leading it likely to overheat or blow.

Personal Electric Transport Ltd. confirm that our batteries are official Samsung heavy duty because we checked. We trust in our manufacturer and we carry random products check in every stock delivered.

hoverboard-Safe-Samsung-Battery-300x300

For the safety we chose to supply original UK plugs directly from UK supply. For this reason, we single handedly open each box before dispatch to double check that each one is supplied with our UK plugs and fuses.

Our product has been CE, Rohs inspected and marked, and batteries ASDS inspected for further safety.

Our product comes with a 12 months warranty and an in-house repair centre.

For more information on our products, please contact us.

View our range of Smart Balance Scooters here…