Less then a week into the launch of the UK's first e-scooter trial on Teesside, two teenagers have been caught riding rented scooters along a busy stretch of dual carriageway without helmets or any protective equipment.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has described the pair as "idiots" who "need protecting from themselves."
The Mayor stressed the e-scooter trial was working and that this "illegal" and "flagrant" breach of the rental rules was dealt with "swiftly" by police.
“Nobody would dream of cycling or riding a skateboard on a motorway, but it would seem that there will always be some idiots that need protecting from themselves and no amount of planning can anticipate such sheer stupidity."
“Since the launch of our e-scooter trail on Monday in Middlesbrough we’ve had 482 rides take place, the overwhelming majority of which have been without incident", he said.
Ceveland Police has reminded the pulic that e-scooters are classed as motor vehicles.
Hiring e-scooters may seem like a bit of fun for some, but they’re not toys. They can only be hired and ridden by holders of a valid driving licence and anyone found to be driving irresponsibly can have their driving licence endorsed, face a fine or criminal prosecution. Anyone hiring a Ginger e-scooter must be over 18 and obey the law in respect of motor vehicles...
Paul Hodgins, CEO of Ginger, the company that supplied the scooters, said: “The guidelines for using the scooters are clear both prior to, and throughout, the hire of the scooters.
“The trial is performing well and we'll continue to work closely with all regional partners during this test phase to ensure riders are aware of their responsibilities to themselves and other road users.”