No form of transportation became trendier to use across Australian states and territories than the e-scooter as commuters seek more environmentally-friendly ways of getting to work.
A quick scan across many CBD areas will see these scooters popping up on most street corners as well as buzzing along parks and pathways, often whizzing along at some surprisingly high speeds.
Yet, this new form of transport is in a state of flux and there is some confusion as to just how fast people are allowed to go on an electric scooter. So just how fast is too fast?
Changing tide on electric scooters
The rules surrounding electric scooters are changing rapidly as they become more common in Australia and this has meant that each state or territory has their own rules on how they can be used.
Perhaps the biggest discrepancy in rules surrounding e-scooters is when it comes down to the maximum speed they can achieve in public areas.
For example, the speed limit for e-scooters in both Victoria and Western Australia is just 10km/h yet in Queensland, scooter riders are allowed to travel at speeds of up to 25km/h.
There is some middle ground to be found too with the likes of South Australia and Tasmania allowing speeds of up to 15km/h, so riders need to be aware of local rules and regulations.
Even further still, e-scooters are completely banned in New South Wales, meaning e-scooters in the state can only be used on private property.
Despite the massive gaps in the rules, most states are agreed on some things regarding e-scooters on the roads. Where they are legal, e-scooters must be:
Only used on public footpaths, paths and roads where the speed limit is under 50km/h
The scooter must not have a power rating higher than 200W
All riders must have a helmet and a built-in horn/bell
By sharing some common ground, it gives electric scooter owners a guide as to what they can do on their vehicle and where they can use it.
Walking the line
With e-scooters becoming more popular, it is becoming increasingly common to find penalties being implemented for riders caught breaking the law.
Whilst some areas have universal penalties for riders breaking the rules, police are becoming particularly stringent on those found whizzing down paths at too high a speed. Some of the penalties that could be issued for doing this include:
VIC: Victorian authorities are extremely strict on e-scooter riders that travel too fast. Anyone caught breaking the rules will find themselves issued with a staggering $829 fine.
NSW: As electric scooters are illegal in New South Wales, anyone found using one on the roads regardless of their speed will be issued with a $78 fine.
QLD: In Queensland, police will issue anyone going too fast on an e-scooter with a fine of $130 – a common fee for all e-scooter offences.
SA: South Australian authorities treat e-scooters riders similarly to road vehicle drivers. Therefore, anyone found going too fast on their scooter will be issued with a fine of $183 as well as an additional fee of $60.
ACT: With e-scooters legal across Canberra, anyone found breaking the designated speed limit will be issued a fine of $153.
With e-scooters in a trial phase in Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory, authorities have yet to define the penalties awaiting riders who are caught breaking the rules.
As electric scooters are becoming much more prevalent on Australian streets, don’t be surprised to see these popular city movers become more regulated as time goes on and they are embraced by modern society.
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