CAN I RIDE MY SCOOTER ON THE PAVEMENT?
Where are you “allowed” to scoot? It is one of the questions we are asked most frequently, as we continue to share our public spaces with ever more vehicles, bikes, prams and pedestrians.
At Micro Scooters we’re huge fans of getting as much use out of your scooter as you can – and they are built to make the most of urban environments.
But if you want to follow the letter of the law (more precisely, the Highways Act of 1835, section 72), it doesn’t really clear things up very much… and that’s probably because the section relating to the use of pavements has never been updated!
So it’s crystal clear where you should tether your cow, or park your carriage…. But not where you can ride your kick scooter. We think that’s not particularly helpful!
After all, those in charge of our roads and public footpaths are keen to ease congestion and get more people using more environmentally-friendly transport modes. So we are calling on the UK’s movers, shakers and law-makers to update the rules. And in so doing, help everyone keep safe and enjoy their journeys: by clarifying the law and, of course, making provisions for those who scoot.
OK – SO UNTIL THE LAW IS CLARIFIED, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Ultimately, the best way to keep safe is to make sure you’re seen, heard and using a big dollop of common sense. Here are our top tips:
- Don’t scoot on the road!
Don’t ride on the road – motorists are not expecting to see you in and amongst traffic and you’ll be difficult to spot given your relative size. Because of the size of your wheels, they’re more likely to catch on drain covers and pot holes, which can suddenly skew your course or even cause you to fall over.
- Good kick-scooter karma
Nobody wants to make enemies of their fellow pedestrians – don’t scoot in a way that will frighten or inconvenience other pavement users. As long as the law is unclear about whether it’s a legal offence to ride on the road or pavement, the easiest way is to avoid causing any personal offence to fellow pavement users.
- Know when to step off
Don’t cross the road on your scooter, and be conscious that different road surfaces and inclines can cause you to pick up speed unexpectedly; if in doubt, don’t risk it.
- Plan ahead
The best way to get around issues of narrow or crowded pavements is to plan your route ahead of time, especially if you’re travelling at rush hour, and try to use less popular thoroughfares. You’ll save time in the long run! Be mindful of shop fronts, bus stops or train/tube exits, where people may step onto the pavement unexpectedly. You can use our scooter route mapper to plan your route (as well as seeing how many calories you will burn and how much money you will save by scooting). See the scooter route planner here >>
- Announce yourself
Make sure you’re visible (and bear in mind people’s peripheral vision is affected if they’re using a phone!). If it’s dark or visibility is low, ensure you’ve got a high viz or reflective tabard or jacket, and fit your scooter with a light to attract attention.
- Protect yourself
No matter how defensively and carefully you ride, you can never be 100% sure that other road users will do the same. Whether it’s a stumble or a more serious fall, you’re much less likely to suffer serious injury if you’re wearing the right protective gear. A helmet is the most important but you can also find wrist, knee and elbow guards make a big difference if push comes to shove.
- Enjoy yourself!
You’re one of us now – you know how much fun it is to feel the wind in your hair, shave those valuable extra minutes off your commute or simplify the school run. So above all, embrace the scooting life, and enjoy your Micro Scooter!
What have your experiences been with riding your adult scooter on the pavements? Let us know on Twitter & Instagram using @microscooters #adultscooting