Amazon’s e-scooter shambles: Online marketplace calls the fashionable vehicles ‘perfect’ for your commute… but it’s illegal to use one on a public road
Electric scooters are being sold on Amazon as the ‘ideal’ and ‘perfect’ way to commute to work or school despite them being illegal on the roads.
A Daily Mail audit found buyers are being encouraged to break the law with some retailers using pictures of riders on public roads.
One e-scooter on sale claims that it’s ‘the perfect scooter for commuting’ due to its long range between charges, with another being ‘ideal for commuting and travel’ because it can be folded up for easy storage.
The findings have sparked a furious backlash, with MPs and campaigners calling on ministers to launch a crackdown on rogue retailers and fast-track legislation governing use of the devices to make the roads safer.
Electric scooters are being sold on Amazon as the ‘ideal’ and ‘perfect’ way to commute to work or school despite them being illegal on the roads. A Daily Mail audit found buyers are being encouraged to break the law with some retailers using pictures of riders on public roads. (File image)
Tory MP per Wellingborough, Peter Bone, said Amazon was ‘encouraging people to break the law’. He added that in his constituency ‘not a single person has written to me saying they think they’re a good idea’
Helmet law change ‘is dangerous for riders’
By TRANSPORT CORRESPONDENT for the Daily Mail
Ministers were yesterday accused of a ‘cavalier disregard’ for road safety after quietly changing the law to exempt electric scooter riders from wearing helmets.
Lawyer Nick Freeman, known as Mr Loophole, said the move was a ‘recipe for disaster’.
It means riders in government-backed trials are exempt until the test period ends in November.
In precedenza, as e-scooters were classed as motor vehicles and fell under road laws, helmets were required.
But ministers amended Motor Cycles (Protective Helmets) Regulations 1998 to exempt e-scooter riders.
Mr Freeman, who specialises in road laws and successfully defended David Beckham and Sir Alex Ferguson, said ministers had ‘shown a cavalier disregard for safety’.
A Transport Department spokesman confirmed the change and admitted guidance states helmets are ‘recommended but not mandatory’.
Only e-scooters for hire as part of government-backed trials in more than 50 cities and towns are legal to use on the roads.
Retailers have a legal duty to provide ‘clear information’ warning e-scooters are illegal on public roads, yet no such disclaimer appears for the majority on amazon.co.uk.
A minority put the information at the bottom of the webpage, meaning buyers can easily miss it.
Al contrario, Halfords states on its website that e-scooters are illegal to ride on the roads.
Ambulance call-outs to incidents involving the devices have surged and police forces have recorded a rise in crimes enabled by e-scooters.
Ministers will not decide whether to legalise privately owned devices on the roads until at least next summer.
Campaigners say it should be fast-tracked because such legislation could include requirements such as needing a driving licence.
Tory MP per Wellingborough, Peter Bone, said Amazon was ‘encouraging people to break the law’.
He added that in his constituency ‘not a single person has written to me saying they think they’re a good idea’.
‘Most people think they’re dangerous and there’s a suggestion they’re being used by drug dealers,’ Ha aggiunto.
Simon Foster, Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands has written to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps urging ministers to ban e-scooter sales until they are legal on the roads.
An Amazon spokesman said: ‘We take the safety of our customers extremely seriously.
Last year we wrote to sellers and vendors asking them to remove any reference to the use of these products on public roads or streets, including pictures encouraging potentially illegal use by customers.’
A Department for Transport spokesman said ministers had recently written to retailers ‘reminding them to outline where e-scooters are and are not permitted to be used’.