Scootered away

• Patrick Blaauw says he “feels robbed”, with no appeal against the confiscation and disposal of his e-scooter. Photo by Steve Grant.

A HILTON resident says police have gone too hard in their crackdown on e-scooters after having his pride and joy confiscated on his birthday.

Patrick Blaauw admits he was doing the wrong thing when a police officer on a motorbike pulled him over on May 16 for riding on a short stretch of Canning Highway while heading home from working on Rous Head in North Fremantle.

While he said the $250 fine for riding an “unregistered motorcycle” was a fair cop, he didn’t realise the power of his e-scooter would lead to it being impounded.

“I feel robbed. I was not aware of the law,” he said of recent McGowan government legislation banning scooters capable of travelling faster than 25kmh.

“I bought it over east off the internet about three months ago,” he says of the $3200 vehicle.

“I am interested in that type of technology; I was polishing it and maintaining it, and it made me feel good.”

Mr Blaauw’s e-scooter is capable of reaching 85kmh, but he says he’s never come close to that and would have happily fitted a speed restrictor if there was an opportunity.

“There was no chance of explaining, and no chance to plead.

“The only thing I got was this letter that said they are going to dispose of your scooter.”

Police told the Herald that ‘electric ridebale devices’ were considered a motor vehicle, but as long as they weren’t too big or powerful and stayed off the roads, they did not need to be licenced.

But because Mr Blaauw struck out on both those accounts, his e-scooter was classified as a motorcycle and was confiscated as police would an unlicenced off-road motorcycle. After 14 days it then became the property of the state and its disposal would help defray costs and top up the Road Trauma Trust Account.

Under section 80 of the Road Traffic Act, police can’t return a confiscated vehicle unless the owner can prove they or their family weren’t driving it at the time and didn’t know what it was being used for.


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