Since 2018, when Electric Scooters were first introduced in Australia, the states and territories have remained divided on the legality of electric scooters on public roads, and shared paths. The e-scooters are becoming a more popular mode of transport in metropolitan areas as in Brisbane almost a quarter (23.5%) of all e-scooter riders used them as a way to commute to work. As popular as they are becoming, it is important to understand e-scooter laws if you are going to be riding one.
Each state and territory have different rules and regulations regarding to use of e-scooters the only rule that all states and territories agree on is riders must wear bicycle helmets on public roads and shared paths. E-scooter riders need to remember that they must take safety seriously, as seriously as they take safety when operating a motor vehicle.
The new e-scooter laws include:
E-scooter speed limits:
- Riders must comply with relevant speed limits based on where they are riding.
- Where there is no relevant speed signage, the default speed limits are:
- 12km/h on footpaths, shared paths and crossings
- 25km/h on permitted local roads and dedicated bike paths and bike lanes.
- 10km/h in shared zones
- Or specified path speed limits
E-scooters can ride on:
- Footpaths, shared paths, separated paths and bike paths
- Local streets (where the speed limit is 50km/h or less and there are no dividing lines, median strips, or one-way streets with only 1 marked lane).
- Bike lanes on roads where the speed limit is 50km/h or less
- Bike lanes that are physically separated from other lanes of traffic
And are now permitted to:
- Use a mobile phone while stationary on a path or nature strip
- Park their device on a path or nature strip (for example, when using a shared e-scooter scheme)
- Ride diagonally across a scramble crossing pedestrian intersection
- Cross the pedestrian side of a separated footpath
- Ride on a safety zone near a tram stop.
E-scooters laws on the road
Riders are only permitted to ride on the road in some limited circumstances to:
- Avoid an obstruction on a path or bike lane for up to 50m
- Bike lanes that are physically separated from other lanes of traffic (for example, by bollards or raised median strip).
- Access a bicycle storage box at an intersection
- Move out of the way of an emergency vehicle
- Travel through an intersection between a road, bike lane or path that they are permitted to be in.
- Riders must wear either an approved bicycle or motorcycle helmet.
- As e-scooters have handlebars riders, must ensure they have a bell or similar warning device fitted.