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Dad Fined £1,000 And Gets Points On Licence After Borrowing Teenage Son's E-Scooter

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Dad Fined £1,000 And Gets Points On Licence After Borrowing Teenage Son's E-Scooter

A man was given a huge fine after he was caught on his teenage son's e-scooter on his way to a doctor's appointment.

James Bladen, 41, from Cardiff, said he was given the 'extortionate' bill of £1,000 ($1,390) after he slept through his alarm. Realising he was late, he hopped on the scooter and took to the road.

His 17-year-old son, Tionree, said his dad should borrow the £400 ($550) e-scooter - which James bought him as a gift - to get to his appointment at a surgery in Ely a couple of miles away.

During the short journey James, who had never ridden the e-scooter before, was stopped by officers from South Wales Police just around the corner from his home.

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Credit: Media Wales
Credit: Media Wales

He said he had 'no idea' it was illegal to ride an e-scooter anywhere but on private land in Wales - unless they are being driven as part of a trial - and called the fine 'mental' and 'extortionate'.

E-scooters are defined as 'powered transporters' by the UK government and South Wales Police has recently been warning people that riding them on public roads or pavements could land them fines, points on their licence and confiscation of the vehicles if they are caught operating them illegally.

The mistake could now cost James £1,056, more than double the monthly amount of his universal credit payments, as well as six points on his provisional driving licence.

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He added that he has just started driving lessons and worries how the points will affect insurance quotes when he passes his test.

James said: "It's an absolute joke I feel like I'm being made a scapegoat. I live on my own with my son and get £500 a month to pay all the bills and look after him and the dog.

"I was panicking that I was going to miss my appointment and Tionree said to take the e-scooter. I had no idea they were illegal or I wouldn't have got on it.

"When the police called me over, the way they were acting I thought they mistook me for a burglar or that I'd stolen the scooter or something.

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Stock image of e-scooter. Credit: Pexels
Stock image of e-scooter. Credit: Pexels

"They said I was riding it without insurance and they took it off me. I walked away from the scene a bit angry and was my son was gutted when I told him."

James said the incident occurred at the end of May and around a month later he got a written demand to pay the fine for riding the e-scooter, which has a top speed of 25 kilometres an hour (around 15 miles an hour), on a public road.

He added that he is currently challenging the order through his solicitor after being told to stump up the cash within 30 days or risk facing court action.

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James said: "I bought the scooter on finance for my son and it's now been destroyed and I'm still paying it off.

"A scooter is a scooter at the end of the day, it's environmentally friendly and I don't see how it's a problem as long as you're not going mental on it.

"I felt really down, depressed and I couldn't sleep. There's no way I can pay that it seems extortionate."

A spokesperson for South Wales Police told LADbible: "E-scooters are only legal to ride on private land with the landowner's permission, or as part of a government trial - which is not taking place in South Wales.

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"Riding an e-scooter in public when it is not part of an authorised trial is against the law and can result in penalty points, a fine and the vehicle being seized.

"We're aware that those planning to use e-scooters are purchasing them in the mistaken belief they can legally use them on public paths and roads. This is not the case and people are inadvertently breaking the law in this way.

"Many e-scooters have a maximum speed of 15.5mph and some are able to exceed this, which can be dangerous for the rider and pedestrians if they are involved in a collision.

"Further information on using publicly owned e-scooters: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/powered-transporters/information-sheet-guidance-on-powered-transporters."

Featured Image Credit: Media Wales

Topics: UK News, Wales

Amelia Ward
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