New driving licence rules are 'welcome' but urgent demands call for further law changes as a 'priority'

New driving licence rules are 'welcome' but urgent demands call for further law changes as a 'priority'

The new rules aim to crack down on anti-social behaviour

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 27/12/2023

- 15:13

Riders now need to submit an image of their driving licence before using the vehicles

New driving requirements have been praised by experts as helping to slash the number of injuries on the roads, but industry insiders argue that more progress needs to be made to help those on the roads.

On December 5, new regulations were launched to crack down on electric scooter users engaging in anti-social behaviour and to boost safety for riders.

Any person riding an electric scooter as part of the Government trials must provide their name and driving licence number, whether they are a new or existing user.

They must also submit a picture of the front of their driving licence to ensure there is a minimum standard of verification to use the trial e-scooters.


The new licence changes were rolled out earlier this month


Riders of electric scooters must have the category Q entitlement on their driving licence, which is included under categories AM, A or B on full or provisional UK licences.

The new rules are being rolled out to protect riders, with data from 2022 showing that there were 1,402 collisions involving e-scooters, with 356 users being seriously injured and 12 people being killed.

Some safety features are already in place meaning riders cannot have more than one person on the vehicle, they can’t be intoxicated when riding and they are not permitted on pavements.

Zoe Fisher, serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said she hoped the new rules would protect e-scooter users, although there are still some concerns about people having the correct expertise when riding.

She added: “While the change in legislation will not eliminate the possibility of users breaching these rules, it can be hoped that by users being readily identifiable by police due to their driving licence details being verified and stored, they might be inclined to be responsible and follow these rules.

“Additionally, users with valid driving licences are more likely to have a better understanding of road safety and the importance of complying with safety rules and regulations.

“It can also be hoped that if users are providing verifiable driving licence details which are available on request by police, this may deter them from engaging in particularly reckless or anti-social driving of e-scooters.”

Police will have greater access to records as operators of e-scooter trial schemes must ensure they have robust systems in place for capturing licence information.

If requested, e-scooter trial operators will need to hand information over to the police, with the operators being able to do so themselves or by using a third-party provider.

Nicholas Lyes, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart, commented on the new requirements, adding that safety was the most important factor when riding electric scooters.

He said: "While these changes are welcome, it is somewhat tinkering at the edges as we know more than half of all e-scooter rider casualties happen outside of trial areas - most likely on privately owned scooters which remain illegal for use on public roads.

“We need the Government to bring forward regulation of this sector as a priority."

People can be hit with a fine, penalty points and an e-scooter could be impounded if the rider is not using it safely.

Privately owned e-scooters cannot be used in public, with the “powered transporters” being illegal to use without a number of legal requirements like number plates, insurance and lights.



There are more than 30 e-scooter trials across the UK


Many experts are calling on the Government to announce new changes to further bolster the electric scooter industry and set clear guidelines for users to follow.

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