Electric Scooter Law Australia

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
NSW No Yes
VIC Yes Yes 200W Power 10kmh
QLD Yes Yes 25kmh 
ACT Yes Yes 25kmh
SA No Yes Rideshare only 
NT Yes Yes 200W Power 10kmh
WA Yes Yes 200W Power 10Kmh
TAS Yes Yes 200W Power 

 

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

Reddit Electric Scooters

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?

Are Electric Scooter Legal 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

QLD Transport Personal Mobility Devices

QLD Transport Wheeled Devices 

 

 Are Electric Scooters Legal in NSW?

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.

Astro Legal NSW

  

Are Electric Scooters Legal in VIC?

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.
The fine for an illegal device is $826.


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.

VIC Gov Road Rules Scooters

RACV Information

 

Are Electric Scooters Legal in ACT?

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.

Riotact ACT Scooter Laws

 

Are Electric Scooters Legal in SA?

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.

    SA Gov Scooter Trial

    City of Adelaide Scooter Rules

     

    Are Electric Scooters Legal in NT?

    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 will shortly be announcing that they are to commence and escooter trial program, watch this space. 

     NT Gov Vehicles Scooters

     

    Are Electric Scooters Legal in TAS?

    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.

    TAS Transport Gov

     

    Are Electric Scooters Legal in WA?

    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.

    WA Gov Latest News Scooters

     

    Conclusion:

    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.

    If you would like to receive  updates please sign up to our news letter

    If you are thinking of purchasing an electric scooter you can access the Complete Guide to Buying and Electric Scooter

    14 comments

    brendan

    E scooters are one of the greatest changes we will ever see to transport. Getting more people out and about will create jobs and get cars off the road. We recently hired e scooters in sa only to find we were severely restricted as to where we could ride them even more redicoulas I can buy one but legally only use it in my drive way. The purpose built aime gillet bike track in the adelaide hills is not used by road bikes preferring to ride on the road. Horses can travel on the bike path last time I looked horses are not fitted with brakes or lights roller skates and roller blades can travel in excess of 25kms per hour and don’t have breaks or lights. Who makes these redicoulas laws……. Someones pockets are getting greased if sa is only going to allow escooter access via ride share programs.

    Bruce

    All States are fragmented (not united) in laws. Consider public safety, road rules, vehicle towing standards, building codes, state public service conditions….even response to COVID19.
    Climate change aspirations aside, politicians passing similar laws ensuring continuity over the use of an e-skateboard or e-scooter has as much hope as politicians not politicising the before mentioned.

    Mark langley

    I just got pulled over by three cops on bikes. While I was riding my scooter on a bike way, and they seized it I payed three grand for my scooter, it was all I had for transport to and from hospital and doctors appointments. I’m 60 years old and walking is difficult ,I lost my licence so got a scooter. Should have bought a car and drove. Sometimes it dose not pay to do the right thing

    Jacob

    Seriously, when is it going to change in Sydney?! It’s so stupid that we can’t ride them without having the fear of god of being persecuted for riding a damn scooter. It’s a scooter! And people ride them around in Sydney here anyways, even with the stupid law in place. I see multiple riders per day in the cbd when I go to and from work..
    Sydney is seriously has such a frail, nanny granny mentality – it’s time to take a step forward into the tomorrow Sydney! It’s 2020, let the scooters live FFS!

    Sean

    I recently bought my first E Scooter from a QLD company. I live in NSW (just a tiny bit south of the NSW / QLD border) and at the time had absolutely no idea that they where pretty much illegal in NSW and was absolutely shocked after paying very close to $1,000 AUD, to find out that this was so!

    I bought my E scooter so as I wouldn’t need to get out my car every day to go back a forth to my work place, which is about 2 KMs from my place (I’m in my 50’s and pedal power is hell on my knees) and as I work in retail and get a hour for lunch each day, and I get to go home for lunch.

    The benefits are that I no longer take up any parking spots in our already highly restricted parking areas around town (it’s now just “parked” in the building I work at) and I produce very little in emissions besides the electricity used to recharge my “Zero 8” E Scooter.

    It’s bloody crazy that if i had instead brought an E Bike or an electric wheel chair I’d then be totally legal, but my tiny E Scooter is classed as an electric motor bike! I’ve never seen a “motor bike” yet that doesn’t at least have a seat ! Hopefully I can continue to “Scoot Beneath The Radar” until the NSW GOV comes to it’s senses!

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published