Taur’s new campaign that reimburses any customer who is fined by police for riding its private e-scooters on UK roads has brought mixed feelings in the new mobility industry.
Though it is currently illegal to ride private e-scooters on public roads in the UK, the company insists that the campaign is not designed to encourage people to break the law.
“We aren’t telling you to break the law, because we aren’t responsible for your actions,” said Taur on its website.
“All we’re saying is that if, like us, you believe that getting to work on a zero emission, insanely efficient, low-cost vehicle can be done safely, we’ve got your back – and we’ll put our money where our mouth is.”
Despite recently launching the initiative, Taur has actually been silently reimbursing customer fines since its inception as part of the firm’s commitment to get more e-scooters on the road.
To be reimbursed, customers only need to provide proof of the fine, but are also invited to supply a selfie with the officer with a reminder to “be kind – they’d rather be solving real crimes too.”
“We’ve had overwhelming support for the campaign, sparking debate on both sides,” Carson Brown, Co-Founder and Head of Product at Taur Technologies, told Zag Daily.
“Some see it as standing up for scooter riders who just want to get to work, while others view it as a progressive challenge to legislation.”
Brown is hoping other manufacturers will follow their example.
Adam Norris, Founder of specialist retailer Pure Electric, told Zag Daily that “the Taur campaign has drawn mixed opinions at our office, it made me smile from a marketing perspective, but I’m not sure if it sits comfortably with me paying money to people who have broken the law.”
The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) said it would not recommend anyone ride an e-scooter on the road other than those that are part of an approved scheme.
“Riders can face a fine of £300 and six penalty points for not having insurance, for a new driver this would mean losing your licence and for any driver it’s likely to affect your insurance on vehicles you drive in a negative way,” Jamie Hassall, Executive Director at PACTS told Zag Daily.
The letter to the PM
Environmental charities, local authorities, disabled people’s organisations, micromobility operators and retailers have come together in a joint push to encourage the government to propel this legislation forward.
Transport emissions are the country’s largest source of emissions, and have scarcely fallen since 1990, demonstrating the urgent need for action.
Norris said: “We have just signed a letter to the PM as we believe the UK is falling way behind in the race to embrace e-scooters, and that’s why we’re growing internationally and at the same time working with the British government to accelerate legalisation of e-scooters.”
Oscar Morgan, CEO of bo, said: “The UK is now trailing Europe, The USA, Japan and Australia in legalising and regulating electric scooters…This harms our cities, it harms innovation and industry in the UK, and analysis after analysis has demonstrated there is no valid reason underpinning it.”