Eastbourne man appears in court for electric scooter incident

A 31-year-old man was arrested for an incident involving an electric scooter in Eastbourne.

Thursday, 4th November 2021, 11:30 am
Someone on an e-scooter. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) SUS-210411-112419001

Sussex Police said Carl Bond, of Saxby Close, was seen ‘acting suspiciously’ in Seaside Road on September 6 as he used the e-scooter while on his mobile phone.

When officers approached him, Bond remained on the scooter and when searched cannabis was found on him, police confirmed.

Last month (October 27), police said he appeared at Hastings Magistrates’ Court where he admitted driving while disqualified, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence, driving without valid insurance, and possession of cannabis.

Police said Bond was previously disqualified from driving after a conviction in 2015 for dangerous driving, and will next appear for sentencing on December 15.

Following this case, Sussex Police has reminded electric scooter riders that they too face arrest, prosecution, and having their item seized if they are seen using it in public in Sussex.

There has been increasing public concern about road safety, with frequent reports of e-scooters riding on pavements and crime reports linked to e-scooters.

This comes after it was revealed 17 people were injured in collisions involving e-scooters in Sussex last year.

Last month a cyclist riding in a cycle lane in Brighton was seriously injured by an electric scooter rider going the wrong way.

A 54-year-old man died in June this year after he collided into a fence near Falmer Railway Station.

Reflecting on Bond’s case, Chief inspector Michael Hodder said, “This case is a reminder that owners of e-scooters can face being arrested by our officers if they are seen riding in public places.

“Riders are subject to the same laws a motorist would need to drive lawfully on the road, including the requirement to have a valid licence, insurance, registration plates and vehicle licensing, and to have the correct registration.

“E-scooters are illegal because there are currently no legal ways to register, insure or tax them.

“Section 59 of the Police Reform Act allows police to give road users a warning if they are reported to have used their vehicle in a manner which causes alarm, distress or annoyance.

“Meanwhile Section 165 of the Road Traffic Act gives police the power to seize vehicles. So please make sure you keep and use your e-scooter on private land, with the owner’s permission, to ensure this does not happen to you.

“We have continued to see the repeated unlawful use of e-scooters. While education and advice have been the preferred options for our officers when speaking to the public, we are keen to draw a line.

“There have been plenty of warnings, we will now be looking to seize electric scooters and prosecute riders.

“E-scooters are becoming more widely available to purchase, and although it is illegal to ride a privately purchased e-scooter in public, they are not illegal to purchase. Many people may be considering buying one as a gift for Christmas.

“We want to inform people and encourage members of the public to act responsibly, follow guidance, and keep within the law.”

Katy Bourne, police and crime commissioner for Sussex, said, “Whilst I am a big supporter of more environmentally friendly transport solutions, we need to make it clear that e-scooters cannot legally be used in public spaces in Sussex.

“I have heard from many residents, including elderly people, who have been menaced and injured by irresponsible e-scooter riders.

“From police experience it seems that people who are prepared to break the law with no insurance or a valid licence are using e-scooters in drug dealing and other criminal activity which makes them a visible target for officers.

“Be warned - your e-scooter can be seized and you can be fined or may injure yourself or someone else so don’t put them on your Christmas wish list.”

Chief inspector Hodder said, “Safety is very important too, and we will take action against anyone breaking the law. This could mean seizing the e-scooter and it could result in prosecution for using a motor vehicle without insurance or the appropriate licence.

“Our main aim is to keep people safe and reduce harm and injury on our roads.”