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QLD E-Scooter Rules and Tips

by Andrew Mandaglio 09 Dec 2022

Electric scooters, or e-scooters, are becoming more and more popular as a way to get around town. They’re fun, convenient, and a great way to save on gas money. However, it’s important to remember that when riding an e-scooter, you are still required to follow the same road rules as motorists.

We’ve curated some of the most important road safety tips for e-scooter riders across Australian States and Territories.

This information is correct at the time of publication, but remember – as e-scooters become more popular, it’s likely that we’ll see an increase in permissions for e-scooters to be permitted on footbaths, shared zones and public roads. Pease ensure you keep updated with your state’s rules and regulations.

Queensland e-scooter rules for riding in public

In Queensland, new rules and increased penalties came into effect on Tuesday, 1 November 2022 and apply to people riding personal mobility devices. PMDs include a range of new and innovative devices, including e-scooters, e-skateboards and self-balancing devices, such as solo wheels and segways.

Speed limits

  • Riders must comply with relevant speed limits based on where they are riding.
  • Where there is no relevant speed signage, the default speed limits are:
    • 12km/h on footpaths, shared paths and crossings
    • 25km/h on permitted local roads and dedicated bike paths and bike lanes
    • 10km/h in shared zones
    • or specified path speed limits

Riders can continue to ride on:

  • footpaths, shared paths, separated paths and bike paths
  • local streets (where the speed limit is 50km/h or less and there are no dividing lines, median strips, or one-way streets with only 1 marked lane).
  • bike lanes on roads where the speed limit is 50km/h or less
  • bike lanes that are physically separated from other lanes of traffic

And are now permitted to:

  • use a mobile phone while stationary on a path or nature strip
  • park their device on a path or nature strip (for example, when using a shared e-scooter scheme)
  • ride diagonally across a scramble crossing pedestrian intersection
  • cross the pedestrian side of a separated footpath
  • ride on a safety zone near a tram stop.

Riders are only permitted to ride on the road in some limited circumstances to:

  • avoid an obstruction on a path or bike lane for up to 50m
  • bike lanes that are physically separated from other lanes of traffic (for example, by bollards or raised median strip).
  • access a bicycle storage box at an intersection
  • move out of the way of an emergency vehicle
  • travel through an intersection between a road, bike lane or path that they are permitted to be in.

Safety equipment

  • Riders must wear either an approved bicycle or motorcycle helmet.
  • As e-scooters have handlebars riders, must ensure they have a bell or similar warning device fitted.

For more information on Queensland e-scooter and PMD rules, visit the Queensland Government’s website.

Tasmania e-scooter rules for riding in public

Both privately owned and hired e-scooters are permitted on footpaths, shared paths, bicycle paths and some roads in Tasmania.

Councils will have the power to restrict footpaths that should not be shared and to add divided local roads to the network on a case-by-case basis.

Anyone 16 years of age or older will be able to use an eScooter as long as they wear a helmet and comply with all of the road rules, including speed limits and don’t use mobile phones. These devices will be restricted to a speed of 15km/h on footpaths, and 25km/h on shared paths, bicycle paths and local roads.

ACT rules for riding e-scooters in public

In the ACT, privately owned and hired e-scooters can be ridden in many areas, but users have to remember they are responsible for their own safety, and that of others. Currently, e-scooters are only permitted on roads or on-road bicycle lanes on residential streets where there is no footpath.

States trialling e-scooters on in public

In New South Wales and Victoria, it is currently against the law to ride a personal e-scooter on roads or in any road-related areas such as footpaths, shared paths and bicycle lanes. They are only permitted to be used on private property.

The NSW government is currently undertaking e-scooter trials across the state, where individuals will be able to rent e-scooters from certified providers and ride them only on designated shared paths.

Like NSW, Victoria is currently trialling high-powered for-hire e-scooters in several local government areas (City of Melbourne, City of Yarra, City of Port Phillip and City of Ballarat). At this stage, only scooters available to hire through approved commercial hire companies in the participating council areas are permitted to be ridden in the trial.

Western Australia e-scooter rules

Currently, only e-scooters that are compliant with current WA road traffic regulations(maximum power output of no more than 200 watts and they cannot travel more than 10 km/h on level ground) can be legally ridden on paths and low-speed public roads.

South Australia e-scooter rules

In South Australia e-scooters cannot be used on roads or road-related areas such as footpaths, bike/pedestrian tracks, or vehicle parking areas. These devices can only be used on private property.

Northern Territory e-scooter laws

Currently the Northern Territory only permits hired e-scooters are in public under certain conditions. If you own an e-scooter, you can only ride it on private property.

10 road safety tips for e-scooter riders on public roads
  1. Obey your state or territory e-scooter and traffic laws. Remember these rules are regularly changing and are different from state to state. If your state doesn’t yet allow e-scooters on the road, don’t risk it – you can get fined and/or penalised.
  2. Wear an approved helmet when riding your e-scooter – it’s the law pretty much everywhere in Australia.
  3. You don’t need to be licensed to ride an e-scooter but you do need to follow the rules of the trial.
  4. Keep a safe distance between yourself and other vehicles or pedestrians on the road – stay at least 1m away from them.
  5. Stay aware of your surroundings – be alert to potential hazards around you like potholes, debris or parked cars.
  6. Do not use headphones while riding an e-scooter – sound is important in detecting potential hazards such as traffic signals or approaching vehicles.
  7. Remain visible – wear bright clothing so that other motorists can see you.
  8. Obey local signage – make sure to check for any specific regulations about e-scooters in your area before riding.
  9. Make sure your e-scooter is up to date with its maintenance – be sure to check tyre pressure, brakes and other parts regularly.
  10. . Do not ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol – impairment can affect judgment and concentration, which are essential when it comes to navigating road safely.
E-scooter safety tips for pedestrians
  1. Be aware of your surroundings – look out for e-scooters, particularly at intersections and crossings
  2. Keep a safe distance from e-scooter riders – do not assume that they will see you or stop for you
  3. Obey all traffic signals and signs – be sure to look both ways before crossing the road
  4. Wear bright clothing or reflective gear when walking at night – this will make it easier for e-scooter riders to spot you.
E-scooter safety tips for motorists
  1. Be aware of your surroundings – look out for e-scooter riders, particularly at intersections and crossings.
  2. Keep a safe distance from e-scooter riders – do not assume that they will see you or stop for you.
  3. Obey all traffic signals and signs – be sure to check for any specific regulations about e-scooters in your area before driving.
  4. Always yield to pedestrians and e-scooter riders when turning or crossing the street – give them plenty of space.
  5. Reduce speed when approaching pedestrian areas – maintain a slower speed when passing through shared paths, bike lanes or footpaths.
  6. Use extra caution at night – wear bright clothing and use headlights.

We hope these tips help you stay safe when riding your e-scooter. Remember to always follow the rules of the road and practice common sense safety practices. Happy riding!

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