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Monday, June 21, 2021

Safety at the fore as e-scooter usage accelerates

In case you’ve missed the sight of a bright orange e-scooter across Canberra, 750 have been whizzing throughout the Inner North, Inner South and Belconnen districts for just over a month now.

And while to date there haven’t been any serious incidents, Canberrans are being reminded of their legal and safety responsibilities on an e-scooter as the weather warms up.

ACT Policing Officer in Charge of Road Policing, Detective Inspector Marcus Boorman today reminded the community of the obligations people might not necessarily be across as Canberra’s e-scooters become more and more popular.

Riders must wear a helmet, travel no faster than 15km/h on footpaths, 25km/h on a shared footpath or cycle path or road, and slow down to 10 km/h when taking a pedestrian crossing.

“Just because if it says 15km/h on the footpath, if there are a lot of people you are obliged to stay to the left and slow down when you’re passing people,” Detective Inspector Boorman said.

in Canberra, e-scooters are not permitted on roads or on-road bicycle lanes, except on residential streets where there is no footpath.

For nighttime riding, e-scooters must be fitted with a light and reflectors – and while riding an e-scooter home after a few drinks might seem like a convenient solution and save you an uber fare, you’d be committing an offence.

Under the alcohol and drugs act, people are unable to operate the e-scooters while “under the influence of alcohol”.

“Basically, again I go back to common sense. Unfortunately, we don’t see that written in the law anywhere, however if you have been drinking don’t get on one,” Detective Inspector Boorman said.

Sending a text or taking a call is a no-no too, with mobile phone use prohibited.

The fine for each offence for e-scooter riders failing to follow the legislation is presently $153.

While to date there have been no fines or warnings issued, ACT Policing have received several reports of people being concerned by unsafe e-scooter usage.

This morning they were advised by a man who was stuck by a scooter on a footpath after leaving a restaurant, and yesterday they were informed a few people had reported to Canberra Hospital following an e-scooter accident.

“In other states there have been some issues, and that’s why we’re coming out now and being proactive,” Detective Inspector Boorman said.

“When you’re riding these e-scooters, apply some common sense.”

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