Stark warning after dangerous e-scooters are seized at Fantasy Island market in Ingoldmells
Lincolnshire Trading Standards has secured a prosecution against a Fantasy Island trader for selling e-scooters that were liable to catch fire or even explode.
During a purchase at Fantasy Island Toys and Gifts in September and October 2022, Trading Standards officers found a total of 30 unsafe e-scooters for sale on the stall.
Five of the scooters were sent away for testing and they were found to have counterfeit plugs and fuses, which means they presented a risk of electrocution, causing a fire, or even exploding.
The e-scooters were also missing important legal safety information, so they did not meet UK labelling requirements.
The trader, Patrick Doherty, was interviewed by Lincolnshire Trading Standards and admitted to importing some of the products from China and not conducting any checks to make sure they were safe to use in the UK.
At Boston Magistrates Court on December 4, 55-year-old Doherty, of St Andrews Road, Skegness, pleaded guilty to toy safety offences and was ordered to pay £3,502 – including a £644 fine, a £258 victim surcharge, and contributions to costs of £2,600.
Lincolnshire Trading Standards officer, Neil Bartlett, said: “Mr Doherty had previous convictions for toy safety offences, so he is well aware of what his responsibilities are to make sure the products he sells are safe and legal.
“We buy and test popular items like these as part of our ongoing product safety sampling, to help keep consumers in the county safe from dangerous merchandise. And with Christmas just around the corner, it’s a stark reminder to check that the presents you’re buying are from reputable businesses and are safe to use.
“E-scooters in particular are a really popular choice this year for children and young people; don’t run the risk of injuring your family by buying unsafe toys or electricals.”
When buying toy or electronics, look for the ‘CE’ or ‘UKCA’ marking on the box, and make sure you can see the name and address of the manufacturer.
Dan Moss, area manager for prevention and protection at Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, said: “Even legal e-scooters and e-bikes pose a fire risk if they’re not used, stored and charged properly. But that risk increases immensely if the product itself uses fake or low-quality electrical parts that don’t meet UK regulations.
“As well as making sure your e-scooters are legal, only ever charge them when you’re around – never overnight or whilst you’re out – and avoid charging them indoors or near flammable materials.
“Remember that you must wear a helmet if using an e-scooter, and they can only be used on private land with the landowners permission.”
Lincolnshire Police also warn that e-scooters are classed as motor vehicles under the Road Traffic Act 1988., meaning the rules that apply to motor vehicles, also apply to e-scooters.
You could also be committing an offence if you're caught:
- riding on a pavement; Fixed Penalty Notice and possible £50 fine
- using a mobile phone or other handheld mobile device while riding; £200 and six penalty points
- riding through red lights; Fixed Penalty Notice, £100 fine and possible penalty points
- drink driving: the same as if you were driving a car, you could face court imposed fines, a driving ban and possible imprisonment