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New safety campaign for e-scooter users

The e-scooter share schemes run by Beam and Neuron Mobility began in November. Two-thirds of Canberrans supported the scheme, and wanted it expanded to other parts of the ACT, but others were concerned about safety, according to an ACT Government survey, Chris Steel, Minister for Transport, announced yesterday, 24 May.

In response, Mr Steel also launched a safety campaign targeting 16- to 34-year-olds, who make up almost half the e-scooter users. The campaign will ensure they obey the road rules, park e-scooters appropriately, and do not drink while riding.

“We expect that e-scooters will remain on our roads, footpaths, and public spaces in the ACT,” Mr Steel said. “But we want to make sure that they’re properly regulated and that people are using them responsibly.”

ACT Police have already issued more than 35 traffic infringement notices and 18 cautions between November and February. Many of these infringements have been committed by people using their own personal mobility devices, not users of the e-scooter shared scheme, Mr Steel noted.

Both companies’ managers said they would work closely with the ACT Government on the safety campaign.

Beam (the purple scooters) would promote the campaign through its social media channels, in-app safety quiz, and safety days, Ashan Sanjeeva said; he had suggested ways users could improve behaviour.

Neuron Mobility (the orange scooters) incentivised safety by providing refunds for helmets or parking coupons for designated areas, Richard Hannah said.

On Facebook, Mr Steel reminded Canberrans:

  • Wear a helmet – don’t risk ending up in a hospital bed!
  • Park responsibly – this will keep our city nice, as well as making it convenient for the next user. Park your e-scooter off the main path and away from stairs, ramps, light rail stops, bus stops, and entry or exit ways.
  • Give way – ring your bell when approaching pedestrians, and overtake on the right. Travel at the appropriate and safe speed for the environment you are travelling in, and be respectful to pedestrians and other path users.
  • Ride responsibly – just as if you were driving a car or riding a motorcycle, road rules apply when riding an e-scooter, so be aware and take responsibility!

The ACT Government is reviewing the e-scooter share scheme to see how safety and regulations could be improved, and whether the scheme should be extended. Results will come out in July. The review will consider speed limits, geofencing, whether more e-scooters are needed, and what other jurisdictions have done around the world.

Mitchell Traders want the e-scooters rolled out to Gungahlin; tradies use them to commute to worksites, Mr Steel said.

Similarly, Beam users wanted the scheme expanded to Gungahlin, Woden, Tuggeranong and broader Belconnen, Mr Sanjeeva said.

“We’re going to take the review seriously,” Mr Steel said.

“The recommendations will be provided to government; we will consider those recommendations and make improvements to the system going forward.”

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