Police seize E-Scooters using law introduced in 1835

Police have seized two E-scooters because of a law dating back to 1835 that was originally designed for mules and sheep. Officers stopped two youths on E-scooters on Cromwell Road, Wisbech at around 10.10pm on Saturday, August 29. One of the youths was riding on the pavement while another, who was riding on the road, was dressed in dark clothing and could not be seen.

There is no law stopping someone from owning an E-Scooter. However, they are not permitted on pavements, cycle lanes or the road as a part of the Section 72 Highways Act 1835 - which is used in the current Highway Code. For those who want to check, it's rule 145.

The legislation was clearly written with other modes of transport in mind. It states: "If any person shall wilfully ride upon any footpath or causeway by the side of any road made or set apart for the use or accommodation of foot passengers; or shall wilfully lead or drive any horse, ass, sheep, mule, swine, or cattle or carriage of any description, or any truck or sledge, upon any such footpath or causeway; or shall tether any horse, ass, mule, swine, or cattle, on any highway, so as to suffer or permit the tethered animal to be thereon; every person so offending in any of the cases aforesaid shall for each and every such offence forfeit and pay any sum not exceeding [level 2 on the standard scale], over and above the damages occasioned thereby." And while E-scooters obviously weren't around then - when Viscount Melbourne was Prime Minister and many children swept chimneys for a living - the rules set out in that Act are still relevant.

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The rule states: "You must not drive on or over a pavement, footpath or bridleway except to gain lawful access to property, or in the case of an emergency."

Anyone caught doing so risks GBP300 fine and six points on their driving licence, if they have one. A spokesperson from Fenland Police said: "E-Scooters are currently classified as Personal Light Electric Vehicle (PLEVs) so they are treated as motor vehicles and are subject to all the same legal requirements - MOT, tax, licensing and specific construction. "Because they don't have a visible rear lights or a number plate, they can't be used on the road.

"You would also technically need a driving licence to operate one."

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