Crackdown on underage riders on Voi e-scooters

Parking, roads and transport

26 February 2024

Voi e-scooter rider in front of Corby station

West Northamptonshire and North Northamptonshire Councils, Northamptonshire police and e-scooter company Voi are urging people not to share their e-scooter accounts with anyone - especially people below the rider age limit which is 18 years old in Northamptonshire.

No-one under the age of 18 is allowed to ride a Voi rental e-scooter in Northamptonshire, as agreed with West Northamptonshire and North Northamptonshire Councils, who manage the e-scooter trials in this area.

Anyone who allows an underage rider to use their account could be banned from Voi and even face prosecution.

Northamptonshire police will be carrying out spot checks/patrols on e-scooter riders in coming weeks to clamp down on underage riders.

At the same time, Voi is reminding people that e-scooters are for people aged 18 and older with a joint campaign.

To ride a Voi e-scooter in the UK, riders must have either a full or provisional driving licence and meet local age restrictions.

The vast majority of rental e-scooter riders follow the rules and do not share their account with anyone.

However, in the UK just over 500 Voi riders (out of 1.5 million) - or just under 0.04% of all users - have been banned for sharing their accounts with underage riders.

If anyone spots someone they believe is underage riding a Voi e-scooter in Northamptonsire, they can report it to the company on either or [email protected]. Please supply as much information as possible, including the date, time, location and if possible the e-scooter’s four-digit registration number. 

The number of people breaking the rules and riding our scooters at a lower age than allowed or permitting others to ride our e-scooters is small - but any number is too many.

Our rules are in place so that riders remain safe - and anyone breaking them is risking their and others’ safety.
Jack Samler, regional country manager for Voi UK, Ireland and France

Voi works closely with local authorities to agree to regulations for use of its services, including operating hours, parking zones and minimum age.

We know that targeting dangerous e-scooter riding is something that the community want us to focus on and operations like the ones we will be carrying out in the coming weeks will do exactly that. 
A young person without a driving licence has no experience of what it’s like to travel on the roads and by enabling a child to ride an e-scooter, you are putting them at risk of serious injury and even death.
If we stop a young person using an adult’s account, we will be looking to progress a prosecution against that adult for offences such as permitting someone with no insurance to use their account. 
We will continue working with Voi and the two local councils to target underage riding and anyone who spots an underage e-scooter rider is encouraged to report it to Voi via their reporting system.
Please keep the children in your care safe by refusing to share your Voi account with them. E-Scooters are not toys and there is a reason why the minimum age to ride one is 18.
Matt O’Connell, Northamptonshire Police Safer Roads Team Manager
Since the e-scooter trials were launched, they have continued to grow in popularity. But sadly, there are a small number of individuals who are abusing the trial and assisting under 18s, so they can ride on Voi e-scooters.
I welcome this campaign by Northamptonshire Police and we are working hard with Voi to crack down on underage riders, but also need your help - if you spot someone who may be underage using an e-scooters or any other incidents of unacceptable rider behaviour, please report the incident.
Cllr Matt Binley, North Northamptonshire Council’s Executive Member for Highways, Travel and Assets
The Voi scheme provides a cost-effective and sustainable way to travel. However, unfortunately there are some people who abuse this scheme and help under 18s access e-scooters illegally. We are pleased to support this campaign with Northamptonshire Police and reduce the number of people illegally riding underage.  Let’s work together to help keep everyone safe, and ensure only those who are legally old enough to ride the e-scooters do so.Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways & Waste, West Northamptonshire Council