The Queensland Government plans to more than halve the speed limit for e-scooters on footpaths (to 12kmh) as one of a suite of safety measures to help protect pedestrians.
The proposed changes to e-scooter laws were flagged by Transport Minister Mark Bailey yesterday in a bid to address the popularity and use of the motorised modes of transport on Queensland footpaths.
Mr Bailey said the proposed law changes included mandated safety measures and a reduction in the lawful speed of riding e-scooters from 25kmh to 12kmh.
Other slated measures would include a safety education campaign and clearer signage and markings to help ensure e-scooter riders, cyclists, motorists and pedestrians can safely share spaces.
“The rising popularity of e-scooters is a clear sign they aren’t going to disappear,” Mr Bailey said. “We know that people are going to keep using them, so the key is making sure that shared spaces like footpaths and bike-lanes are as safe as they can be.
“That’s why I joined industry and user groups, disability advocates, health, police and government experts late last year to understand what needs to be done to make e-scooters and their use safer for people riding them and those they ride near.”
Under existing Queensland laws, e-scooter riders must be at least 16, or 12 with adult supervision, and wear a helmet to ride e-scooters. The maximum speed is currently 25kmh on footpaths and walkways and users, must not carry passengers, use mobile devices or operate scooters while drinking.
Non-compliance with existing rules carries fines of at least $137.
“We are seeing far too many injuries in e-scooter users that are the result of speeding and many pedestrians feeling unsafe on footpaths,” Mr Bailey said. “Our footpaths are there for everyone, so e-scooter riders will need to slow down on footpaths to 12 kmh in future.
“We’ll also be allowing e-scooters on segregated bikeways, like the Veloway and bikeways such as the Ipswich Motorway & Gateway Arterial North as we examine further their use in relation to on road bike lanes.
“For e-scooters to use footpaths less, they need more safe routes to use as an alternative. We’ll examine further whether on road bike lanes are appropriate with all stakeholders, with extensive consultation with local government associations and councils to come.”
He said the Queensland Government would work with Brisbane City Council and other local government authorities – regional councils – on making sure signs and markings make it clear where e-scooters can and can’t be ridden, and where they can and can’t be parked.
Tougher laws to give police better tools to enforce speed limits and drink-riding are also to be considered by a yet to be established safety reference group.
Police Minister Mark Ryan said the Queensland Police Service would be part of a new Personal Mobility Device Safety Reference Group.
“We know many people do the right thing and our officers do a great job at policing dangerous behaviour already,” he said. “But with new rules and regulations we will be better equipped to keep the public safe.”
Mr Bailey said more information on the safety reforms would be made available in the coming months, as engagement with industry and stakeholders progressed.
Measures being considered include:
- reducing footpath speed limits to 12kmh
- a proactive safety campaign to inform users of road rules, parking and their responsibilities
- partner with industry for a new e-scooter users’ guide at point of sale (privately owned e-scooters)
- mandate warning devices (such as a bell)
- establish an e-scooter parking working group to create clear rules for e-scooter parking to keep footpaths clear for pedestrians and people with disabilities
- allowing e-scooters on segregated bikeways, including the Veloway
- examine further e-scooter use on shared bikeways and on road bike lanes, pending further stakeholder and local government consultation.
See the current Queensland e-scooter rules.