BERKSHIRE Breaking Slough

Riding an e-scooter under the influence of alcohol is the same as drink driving and could lead to a prison sentence, a driving ban and substantial fine

E-scooter users are being warned not to drink and ride as the country comes out of lockdown and hospitality venues open.

Riding an e-scooter under the influence of alcohol is the same as drink driving and could lead to a prison sentence, a driving ban and substantial fine.

Hospitality venues opened this week and with the lighter spring evenings more people will be venturing back out to have dinner or drinks and see friends under the rule of six.

Only residents over the age of 18 years with a driving or a provisional licence are legally able to hire one of the borough’s 450 Neuron Mobility Ltd electric scooters. When signing up the users agree to abide by the Highway Code.

Drink and drug driving rules apply to e-scooter riders and those with more than the permitted level of alcohol in their system will be committing a serious road traffic offence.

If pulled over by Thames Valley Police and breathalysed the legal limit is 35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath or 80 millilitres of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.

Neuron Mobility has also launched a reaction test in its app from 6pm each day which could help riders reflect on whether they should ride.

In addition, safety ambassadors will be out on the streets to encourage responsible riding. While helmets are not mandatory to wear but highly recommended, an incentive of financial credits has been introduced if a helmet selfie is submitted before starting the journey.

The ambassadors are also available to help any new users with their first rides and are armed with hospital-grade disinfectant to keep e-scooters and helmets clean and germ-free.

Savio DeCruz, the council’s associate director for operations place, said: “E-scooters offer a sustainable zero emissions transport option in the borough between places of work and transport hubs which is fantastic as people gradually return to their lives.

“However, riders have to use them responsibly and are subject to the same laws as traditional vehicle drivers.”

George Symes, Neuron’s expansion manager, said: “Like everyone we’re excited for the lockdown to end and can’t wait for more people to have the opportunity to use our e-scooters.

“We look forward to helping people reconnect with their friends and families but it’s important that we all do everything we can to make sure that e-scooters continue to be used safely.

“We advise all new and existing riders to follow the rules and to ride responsibly. Now is the time to be enjoying new found freedoms rather than risking points on your licence or spending time in A&E.”

The e-scooters are not permitted to be ridden on pavements and must only be used on the road and only one rider per vehicle.

The year long e-scooter trial launched in October in specific areas of the borough and was expanded into Langley, Britwell and Wexham in March.

Rule breakers should be reported to Neuron’s 24/7 customer service centre with the exact time, location and licence plate number by emailing sloughsupport@neuron.sg or calling 01753 981188.

Journeys begin and end with the simple scanning of a QR code. For single trips it costs £1 to unlock the e-scooter and 18 pence per minute thereafter. More frequent users have the option to purchase Neuron passes on a subscription service, available for three days a week at a cost of £15, weekly at £22 and monthly at £36.

The e-scooters have a top speed of 15.5mph for experienced riders and a 9mph top speed for beginners.

Privately-owned electric scooters remain outlawed for use on any public path and road.

The Neuron e-scooter app can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play where driving licence details and a payment card will be required before being allowed to ride an e-scooter.