What are these vehicles classed as?
Many of these vehicles are sold as 'toys', but do in fact satisfy the definition of a motor vehicle.
Some such as Go-peds are sole as electrically assisted pedal cycles but in reality are likely to be motor vehicles. In order to be an electrically assisted pedal cycle the machine's primary method of propulsion should be pedals. In most cases, pedals on motorised scooters are only for show - being flimsy and awkward to use.
Can Mini-Motos, Go-Peds be used on the road?
No - although most of these types of vehicles satisfy the definition of a motor vehicle, they are not road worthy.
In order to be roadworthy, they would have to meet all construction and use requirements.
The motorised scooters would also be required to have European Whole Vehicle Type Approval, be registered with the DVLA, have tax, insurance and display number plates. The rider would have to hold valid driving documents and wear a crash helmet. They should only be used on private land with the written permission of the landowner.
What action can be taken?
Under Section 165A of the Road Traffic Act 1988, a constable can seize a motor vehicle when the driver does not have a valid insurance certificate or a valid driving licence.
Under Section 59 of the Police Reform Act, a constable can seize a motor vehicle when he has reasonable grounds to believe it is being used in a careless and inconsiderate manner, or is likely to cause alarm, distress or annoyance.
If you ride a Mini Motos, Go-Peds, mechanical scooters, trial bikes or quad bikes in a park, public place on open land you will committing an offence. This could lead to prosecution and your bike being taken off you, along with your driving license and a large fine. If you don't have a license it could affect you getting one in the future.
You may also commit other offences for causing harassment, alarm or distress under the Public Order Act 1994.
Vehicles seized will be at the rider's expense. Even if at a later date you are allowed to claim the bike back, expect to pay the costs for removal and storage.
Landowners who give permission for motorised vehicles to be ridden on their land could be liable to civil claims should an accident occur. Therefore we recommend that landowners who chose to allow off road activity to take place, should have appropriate public liability insurance. The consequences of ignoring the law are:
- Large fine
- Points on your driving licence
- Seizure of a vehicle
- Loss or increased insurance premiums
- Injury to yourself or others
- Unlimited civil claims for damage or injury to a 3rd party
Thinking of buying Mini Motos, Go-Peds, mechanical scooters, trial bikes and quad bikes?
If you are a parent considering buying a 'dirt' bike for a child please make sure that whoever is selling it can provide proof of ownership.
Remember there will also be hidden costs:
- The bike will require Public Liability Insurance
- You will need to find an approved site to use it legitimately.
If you have an interest in motorcycle sport and you wish to ride legally, please contact the governing body for the sport:
Auto Cycle Union,
British Motorcycle Sport and Leisure, ACU House, Wood Street, Rugby CV21 2AX.
Telephone: 01788 566 4000.
Web: ACU - Auto Cycle Union.