Project: Construction Standards of Go-Peds and Similiar Vehicles

Reference: S0033/VD

Last update: 12/12/2003 09:54:45

Objectives

The objective of this work is to investigate the extent to which these small, powered vehicles meet or fail to meet relevant Type Approval, C&U and RVLR requirements.

This objective is within the overall DTLR objective of reducing the number and severity of accidents and injuries to all road users.

Description

A number of motorised vehicles, often generically called 'Go-Peds', have entered the market in recent years. These vehicles resemble a child's scooter but are equipped with either a small internal combustion engine or an electric motor and have maximum speed capabilities of up to 20mph. They are used as a faster way of travelling than walking and have an advantage over bicycles in that they may be folded up for carriage on public transport or in the luggage area of normal cars.

Most of the motorised vehicles concerned have two, or maybe three wheels connected by a platform on which the rider stands and is steered by handlebars fitted to a vertically rising column from the front wheel. There are also versions which are fitted with a seat.

Although these vehicles (scooters) are designed for off-road use, they are being used in greater numbers on roads and pavements, particularly in urban areas. The classification and legality of such machines has been questioned in the past but a recent Court case has established that they should be considered to be motor vehicles.

The Department's view has always been that these vehicles are motor vehicles and that they should comply with the requirements applicable to a motorcycle or moped given in the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, as amended (C&U) and the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989, as amended (RVLR). Compliance with these regulations will ensure a minimum level of safety for their users and also for other road traffic of which they form a part.

Since the introduction in June 1999 of European Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA) for powered two and three-wheeled vehicles, any new types or models of the vehicles in question first introduced to the market of an EU Member State after that date must be type approved in accordance with the procedures and requirements of Directive 92/61/EEC. The DTLR believes that these vehicles fall well below the appropriate requirements of ECWVTA but the degree of non-compliance is not precisely known.

Research is therefore required to determine in what way these machines fail to meet the required regulations for road vehicles in order to enable the Department to offer informed comment, with evidence, on the legality and suitability of these vehicles for road use.

Contractor(s)

TUV NEL Ltd
East Kilbride, Glasgow, G75 0QU
+44 (0)1355 2202222

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £31,500.00

Actual start date: 01 November 2001

Actual completion date: 16 March 2003

Publication(s)

An Assessment of the Construction Standards and Performance Characteristics of Small Powered Scooters
Author: NEL
Publication date: 06/12/2002
Unpublished
Source: Contact lawrence.thatcher@dft.gsi.gov.uk

Summary of results

  1. The project produced a full report on the standards of construction of the relevant vehicles stating the degree of compliance with the regulations.