Whether E-scooters are a miracle solution or simply another roadside nuisance depends on how many times you refresh your newsfeed. Regardless of the conflicting opinions, their rise in popularity is increasing pressure and demand for clearly defined laws surrounding their use.
Previously, the guidance provided by RACV and VicRoads stated that only electronic scooters which:
- Have a motor operating under 200 watts; and
- Have a maximum speed of 10 km/hr on level ground
are permissible on public roads.
To put this into perspective, mobility scooters have a 250 watt capacity with a maximum speed range of 25-35 km/hr, which the average wattage across the e-scooter board is 1145 watts.
Those who did not meet the criteria, but still insisted upon challenging their grandma’s mobility scooter to a street race, could expect to receive a $909.00 fine.
Currently however, the restrictions have been tightened. According to the Road Safety Rules 2017 (Vis), riding a privately owned scooter on public roads is prohibited. The only exception is if the rider is using an e-scooter that is part of a commercial share scheme. Although this may seem disheartening for e-scooter enthusiasts, there is a silver lining.
VicRoads is currently undertaking trials within restricted regions to determine whether e-scooters can harmoniously co-exist with other vehicles and pedestrians.
These trials are ongoing and expected to produce a clearer idea for the future of privately owned e-scooters and finally set the headlines straight.
DISCLAIMER The contents of this newsletter are of a general nature and cannot be relied upon as legal advice. However, if you need legal advice please do not hesitate to contact any one of our lawyers.