Electric scooter riders in Queensland could soon be facing fines of more than $6000, as well as court appearances, for riding dangerously on footpaths under new proposed laws.
As reported by The Guardian, Queensland Transport and Roads Minister Mark Bailey introduced the new legislation to the parliament earlier this week – however it’s not yet passed, meaning it isn’t yet law.
Mr Bailey said e-scooter riders could face court appearances, as well as penalties of up to $6192 under the new rules.
He also said e-scooter riders should face the same post-crash responsibilities as drivers and cyclists, regardless of whether they’re on a road or a path.
“They are equally culpable in the same way that every other road user is and I think most people would expect that that’s fair enough,” said Mr Bailey, as reported by The Guardian.
“When I get my running shoes out on the Bicentennial bike way and I get passed by an e-scooter doing about 50 or 60km/h – if it hit me I’d be dead.
“So let’s not underestimate the risk to pedestrians of an e-scooter ridden recklessly.”
If passed, the legislation would make it an offence for a scooter or bike to ride dangerously on a footpath, bike path or shared path.
A rider would also be required to stay at the scene of an accident, which is the same obligation motorists are required to follow.
As it currently stands, e-scooter riders in Queensland can ridden on footpaths and shared paths at speeds of up to 12km/h.
On bike paths and roads with a speed limit up to 50km/h, e-scooter riders can travel at speeds up to 25km/h.
In Victoria electric scooters are not allowed to be used on footpaths, however they can be used on bike paths, shared paths and roads that have a speed limit up to 60km/h. There’s a maximum speed limit of 25km/h.
Tasmania and Western Australia also enforce 25km/h speed limits on electric scooters, as well as weight limits of 45kg and 25kg, respectively.
In the Australian Capital Territory, electric scooters can travel up to 25km/h on bike paths and shared footpaths, 15km/h on regular footpaths, as well as 10km/h at crossings.
New South Wales and South Australia are the only states to not allow privately owned electric scooters to be ridden on bike lanes, footpaths or roads. They can be used on private property however and there are certain trials allowing shared use.
If e-scooter owners in New South Wales or South Australia are caught riding not on private property, they can incur fines for driving and unregistered and uninsured motor vehicle while unlicensed.
In the former these carries a $4828 fine and four demerit points for first-time offences, while in the latter this carries a fine of $2500.