With rideshare operators interested in bringing an electric scooter (e-scooter) share scheme to the Territory, the ACT Government is looking to amend transport laws to allow their legal use.
Currently, e-scooters are not permitted to be used on roads or road related areas. Infringement notices can include a penalty of $151 for using an e-scooter, $600 for using an unregistered vehicle and $903 for using an uninsured vehicle.
However, ACT Minister for Road Safety Shane Rattenbury said “people are keen to use these new types of personal transportation devices. We need to make sure our regulations keep pace with these new technologies”.
“At the moment, it is illegal to ride one of these e-scooters in a road or road related area. You could ride them in your backyard but that’s not very useful,” Mr Rattenbury said. “So we want to open up the options for potential use on cycle paths, footpaths and potentially even low speed roads.”
The ACT Government has launched a discussion paper seeking the community’s views on how to facilitate the safe use of e-scooters and similar devices in the ACT.
“Queensland is the jurisdiction that has done the most work in putting together a regulatory model and certainly in Queensland they have taken an approach which includes using them on low speed roads, so 50km hour roads that don’t have a centre line or median strip,” Mr Rattenbury said.
The government is particularly interested in community views on: the maximum speed the devices should be able to travel; what areas it is appropriate for these devices to travel on; whether these should be taken onto public transport; and whether there should be a limitation on who may use these devices.
“E-scooters and the like are an interesting new means of transportation that could help people be more mobile in a sustainable way, that can also be fun,” Mr Rattenbury said.
“Importantly, transport options like e-scooters can help people avoid car trips, connect to public transport, and be more active. They can provide benefits for the environment such as reducing pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and noise.”
The ACT Government said a separate exercise will be undertaken to develop a legislative framework for commercial operators of dockless share schemes for e-scooters and bikes which will seek to build on the ACT bike share trial.
Submissions on e-scooters are invited at www.yoursay.act.gov.au