NEWS AND COMMENT-HIGH WYCOMBE, UK: A dachshund has been killed on the pavement (footway or sidewalk) by a 20-year-old man driving an e-scooter. The dog’s owner, Sue Reynolds, was out walking her 14-year-old dachshund Jumbo when the man drove through Jumbo’s lead which caused Jumbo to be thrown into the air. He landed heavily on the road. Reynolds picked him up but “he was bleeding from his mouth. He just faded away, I had blood everywhere.”
The crime happened around 8:15 AM on May 12. I can say confidently that this is a crime for the reasons stated below. It’s not clear whether the man rented the e-scooter or whether it was privately owned.
I’m also not sure that it makes any difference because the law appears to be quite clear on this. The police are investigating but they only have to investigate who the perpetrator is.
In the UK, you need a category Q entitlement on your driving licence to drive a scooter. A full/provisional UK driving licence with categories AM, A or B include category Q permissions. You don’t need L plates to drive and e-scooter if you have a provisional licence. If you have an overseas provisional licence, you can’t use an e-scooter. In London you have to complete an online course before you drive and e-scooter on a public highway.
Private e-scooters can only be used on private land and not on public roads, cycle lanes or pavements. The only e-scooters that can be used on public roads (i.e. not pavements) are those that are rented as part of government-backed trials. They are recognised as “powered transporters” because they don’t fit into the general law. They fall under the same laws and regulations as motor vehicles, however. Today, as the law stands, anyone riding a cycle, e-scooter or other wheeled vehicle on the pavement can be prosecuted.
My personal viewpoint is, too, that this incident is a crime in another way, namely criminal damage. There will also be a civil action in negligence by Reynolds against the e-scooter rider should she want to pursue it, which is unlikely.
The reason why they can’t be legally on the road is because they do not always have visible red rear lights, numberplates or signalling ability.
Helmets aren’t obligatory but recommended. You can be fined and prosecuted if you break the law. The Metropolitan police state that they will issue fines of £50 for riding on the pavement. And the fine is £100 and six driving licence penalty points for using a mobile phone or riding through a red light while on an e-scooter. If you drive an e-scooter while drunk you can be given a ban for drink-driving.
The problem with e-scooters on pavements is that they are so quiet. They suddenly appear and perhaps from behind the person. The person riding the e-scooter can sometimes fail to recognise the fact that the person on the pavement in front of them doesn’t know that there and therefore can’t take evasive action.
Of course, Reynolds is devastated. Jumbo was 14 when killed and she said: “My house feels empty without Jumbo. He was with me through thick and thin”.
It is the first story that I have read of a dog being killed by a e-scooter on the pavement.
Below are some more articles about crimes.