Are Electric Scooters Legal In Australia?
In Summary here are the answers State By State (Territory) for a more detailed explanation see the article below:
|Location||Legal Publicly||Legal Privately||Speed Conditions|
|VIC||Yes||Yes||200W Power 10kmh|
|NT||Yes||Yes||200W Power 10kmh|
|WA||Yes||Yes||200W Power 10Kmh|
In this Article we will cover what are the Laws for riding Electric Scooters in Australia. We see a lot of confusion across the various e-scooter forums related to Electric Scooter Law. For example
Unfortunately some retailers selling electric scooters out there don’t know the escooter laws themselves and end up providing mis-information either intentionally to get a sale or unintentionally. In Australia there is no regulation to prevent the sale of electric scooters within any state or territory.
Electric Scooters are booming and why not they are a source of fun and adventure, affordable, alternative form of transport, relatively green and naturally adhere to social distancing requirements.
We have herd of people trying one on holiday, loved is so much, upon returning home purchasing one without checking first if its legal.
Let's get this one out of the way. You do not need a drivers license to ride and escooter in Australia.
Now this guide will take you through state by state outlining a summary of the electric scooter law and providing you a direct link to the source so you can check for yourself. No more hunting around the information is all in one place.
Are Electric Scooters Legal in QLD?
In Queensland, there are Lime Scooter and Neuron Scooters that cater to the escooter sharing platform. It's legal to ride an electric scooter on public roads and footpaths. The council has placed requirements on the escooter sharing companies to geo fence the speeds of the electric scooter in certain areas. For instance to ride escooters around south bank the speed it limited to 10kmh where all other areas are limited to 25kmh. Riding in bike lanes is prohibited at the moment as is riding on Australian Roads with the exception of crossing the street, and in areas where the road limit is 50kmh.
There is however consideration to move electric scooters to bike lanes. See below video.
But for the mean time here are some requirements you need to know to avoid breaking the law:
- Helmets must be worn
- Children under 12 cannot ride, and riders up to 16 must be supervised by an adult.
- Riders must give way to pedestrians
- Speed limit to 25km/h, and in certain areas speed limits are 10km/h
Riders may be fined up to $130 if they break the rules.
Full detailed description for electric scooter laws in Queensland below
Are Electric Scooters Legal in NSW?
Currently, in NSW riding an electric scooter on public roads and footpaths are not allowed. However, it is permitted on private property.
There have been escooter trial programs in both Manly and Bondi. The state government formed an escooter working group aimed to look at how these trial programs performed to help determine the fate of escooters in new south wales. Over the past year bureaucrats within Transport for NSW have been working with at least half a dozen local councils, police and escooter companies such as lime scooter on a framework for these trials.
In the most recent development NSW Gov is seeking input from the public on the use of personal mobility devices (as a result of social distance requirements from COVID).
The NSW Gov Green paper section 4.14: [Regulate to let Personal Mobility Devices fulfil their potential and to revise laws to encourage Personal Mobility Device innovation and use.] will capture and deal specifically with electric scooters.
The report was to be given to the Minister this year in 2020 and is expected to detail what legislative or regulatory changes need to be made to allow an escooter trial program in pockets of Sydney or a regional area, such as Newcastle.
It's unlikely electric scooters will be allowed on footpaths in Sydney CBD as the number of pedestrians is a lot higher than other cities. We think any form of trial or regulation change will most likely result in the use of bike lanes within the CBD and a combination of road and footpath use in outer ring suburbs. But be prepared for low speed limits.
Below is the link to the current law in NSW.
Are Electric Scooters Legal in VIC?
In Victoria it's legal to ride an Electric scooter however must be limited to less than 200w in power output and capable of speeds below 10km/h are permitted for use on public roads and footpaths. We believe escooters below 200watts of power would struggle to keep someone above 10km/h on any type of hill.
The laws are written a little bit differently, not stating what the requirements are to comply rather stating if it has certain features then it doesn’t comply.
- If your Motorised Scooter is powered by a petrol motor
- has an electric motor with a maximum power greater than 200 watts
- has a maximum speed greater than 10 km/h
- then it cannot be legally used on Australian Roads or any road related areas, including footpaths, share paths and public areas.
Melbourne is a city well suited to the use of electric scooters and skateboards and we are pretty positive that the Victorian state government will update their transport legislation to allow faster and more powerful scooters later this year.
Are Electric Scooters Legal in ACT?
The ACT Government gave Territorians an early Christmas present in 2019 with the announcement that electric scooters and skateboards and similar devices can be legally ridden on shared paths and footpaths as of 20th December 2019.
Minister for Justice, Consumer Affairs and Road Safety Shane Rattenbury said the new laws will help the ACT move towards its renewable energy targets.
“E-mobility provides new and convenient options for travel. They let people leave the car at home, and are easily combined with public transport,” Mr Rattenbury said.
“With the ACT achieving 100 per cent renewable electricity they can be recharged using clean energy, free of greenhouse gas emissions.
Laws around the use of Electric Scooters include:
- a maximum speed of 15 km/h on footpaths
- up to 25 km/h in all other permitted locations
- Users must wear a helmet
- slow down to 10 km/h when going across a crossing
- and give way to pedestrians.
Other road rules, like staying to the left, having a warning device like a bell and not being allowed to use mobile phones or ride under the influence, still apply.
Are Electric Scooters Legal in SA?
In South Australia , the SA Government has gone down a very restrictive path on thier escooter trial. You can only ride your privately owned scooter on private property - not on public roads, footpaths or other public spaces.
The only electric scooters you are able to ride in South Australia and in fact the Adelaide cbd are the escooter sharing units owned by the operator as permitted by the City of Adelaide during this trial.
If you are caught riding an escooter not approved for this trial you may be fined for driving an unregistered and uninsured motor vehicle $1232.
The main Electric Scooter Laws for the Trial are:
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Must wear an approved bike helmet that is securely fitted
- Must not ride in a bike lanes or bus lanes
- Must not exceed 15km/h or a lesser speed if required in the circumstances to stop safely to avert danger
- Must not use a mobile phone whilst riding
- Must not carry scooters on public transport.
Are Electric Scooters Legal in NT?
In the Northern Territory, motorised scooters with a power output greater than 200 watts are defined as motor vehicles in the NT Motor Vehicles Act and need to coply with motor vehicle standards. As motor vehicles, motorised scooters used on roads, or in public places, need to be registered and ridden by licensed riders. However, motorised scooters are not designed or manufactured to comply with registration requirements and national safety standards for road vehicles, such as Australian Design Rules (ADRs). Therefore, they cannot be granted registration for on-road use and may not be ridden on public roads or places open to the public (including footpaths, bike paths, carparks, etc
However the NT Government is open to changing this with a trial within Darwin for the escooter hire company Nueron being given permission to operate for a 12 month period.
Are Electric Scooters Legal in TAS?
From 30 November 2019 there will be some changes to the road rules for motorised scooters.
For the purposes of the Road Rules Electric Scooters in TAS will now be treated the same as riders of foot-powered scooters, skateboards and rollerblades (ie 'wheeled recreational devices').
A person riding a motorised scooter that is powered by a motor or motors not exceeding a maximum power output of 200 watts, will now be permitted to ride on paths and some roads. These are motorised scooters having two or more wheels and a footboard supported by the wheels, steered by handlebars and designed to be used by one person.
Welcome to the Club TAS, but finding an electric scooter worthwhile riding with an output of less than 200 watts will be difficult at least you can now ride escooters on public places.
Are Electric Scooters Legal in WA?
Essentially the laws in Western Australia defined by the Road Traffic Code 2000 state:
if it is fitted with an electric motor or motors, satisfies the following criteria —
(i)its maker certifies (either by means of a plate attached to the motor or on each motor, or by means of engraving on the motor or each motor) the ungoverned power output of the motor, or each motor;
(ii) the maximum power output of the motor, or the combined maximum power output of the motors, is not more than 200 watts;
(iii) when propelled only by the motor, or motors, the scooter is not capable of going faster than 10 km/h on level ground.
We think that 2020 and 2021 the state governments will begin to align the Electric Scooter Laws in Australia. Typically as these forms of transport are new we anticipate some resistance to any form of change, but as people get use to this mode of transport they will become just a popular as bikes.
We are happy to received your comments and thoughts on the scooter laws in your state.
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If you are thinking of purchasing an electric scooter you can access the Complete Guide to Buying and Electric Scooter