POLICE are reminding people who are given gopeds and scooters this Christmas to stay off the roads.
Sgt Dave Swift, West Midlands Police road policing policy officer, said there was still confusion over where and when gopeds and scooters could be operated lawfully and safely.
South Wales Police are warning people with motorised scooters - gopeds - that they have to be treated as motor vehicles.
Police have been inundated with complaints about the use of gopeds in the Morriston area of Swansea and the vehicles have led to complaints across South Wales.
A police spokesman said, "Gopeds are classed as motor vehicles because they run on petrol.
Acting Chief Inspector Will Rees said, "Our experience has shown that most people don't realise gopeds are legally classed as motor vehicles.
"Gopeds should be used off-road unless they are taxed, insured and fitted with lights and we advise riders to wear a safety helmet regardless of where they are using them."
Gopeds are dangerous - how soon before someone dies or is seriously injured?
This is borne out through personal experience, when one such goped (defective brakes, no lights or horn, without registration, tax, MoT, licence or insurance) was driven by two youths at high speed on the pavement, where they ran over our five-year-old daughter, causing injuries which required an ambulance and subsequent hospital treatment.
Warwickshire Police say the motorised scooters - or gopeds - are anything but toys, and users need a licence, insurance, tax and a MoT.
But David Thornton, owner of Thorntons Cycle Centre in Cambridge Street, Rugby, said he did not stock "gopeds" because the law was too unclear.