9 March 2022

E-scooter curfews and no-go zones an option to combat scootering under the influence

| Lottie Twyford
Join the conversation
E-scooters in the rain

The ACT Government is considering putting in blocks and curfews to combat scootering under the influence. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Jumping onto an e-scooter to get home after a big night in the city could become more difficult under potential new rules designed to combat scootering under the influence.

Time curfews and no-go zones outside popular nightspots where there is a high risk of someone being intoxicated are both options being considered by the ACT Government.

Transport officials told an annual reports hearing last Friday that the idea wouldn’t be to stop people from using an e-scooter but to “remove the temptation” for somebody who would be potentially better off getting a cab.

A Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate executive branch manager John Bowdery said if any curfews were imposed they would be highly targeted.

“There’s potential consideration … as an example to prevent someone starting a trip directly outside of Mooseheads late on a Friday night where there’s a high chance somebody might be intoxicated,” Mr Bowdery said.

READ ALSO Night-time ‘fishing’ all part of the job for Canberra’s scooter crew

Last year, the government introduced harsh drink-riding laws into the Legislative Assembly which will be debated later this year along with a range of other amendments to the Territory’s road transport legislation.

If passed, anyone caught riding an e-scooter under the influence of alcohol or drugs could be slapped with a $3200 fine.

A three-strikes-and-you’re-out rule will be implemented, which was a key recommendation of an earlier review into the e-scooter scheme.

The review found most Canberrans are happy and would like to see the e-scooters arrive in their neighbourhood – although there were some safety concerns.

Under the rules, multiple acts of non-compliance such as not wearing a helmet or parking incorrectly could lead to a user’s account being cancelled.

Any serious misconduct will be referred to ACT Policing.

The ACT Government also introduced legislation last year that allowed police to direct a person to either get off, or not get on, a personal mobility device.

The introduction of the new legislation comes before the expansion of the e-scooter scheme later this year.

READ ALSO E-scooters the new terror for commuters

The first phase will connect the two current zones of the city centre and Belconnen.

The scheme will then roll out to Woden and Gungahlin, before areas such as Tuggeranong, Weston Creek and Molonglo Valley.

It’s hoped all of Canberra’s major town centres can be connected through a shared path network so riders can be kept off major arterial roads.

Mr Bowdery said Transport Canberra is also working with local community groups and key stakeholders to ensure the expansion of the scheme goes smoothly and to “identify any issues”.

“The key issue for the rollout will be repeating that engagement with local community areas, finding out where there are any issues, avoiding potential challenges such as funnelling these devices onto main arterial roads where we don’t want them,” he said.

Both e-scooter operators, Neuron Mobility and Beam, have welcomed the opportunity to expand their services across Canberra.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

How many new laws have we added. How many are actually enforced.

Typical left governments tend to pick and choose which of the arbitrary laws they enforce rather than having solid cover all laws.

The scooters are a terrible eyesore that have to painted bright colours otherwise people trip over them.
They also are ridden by people that make them into a traffic hazard. No doubt have caused many accidents, collected in studies and then ignored. We only ever hear about the successful studies.

The recent changes to the bike rider laws have caused many more accidents yet, those pilots just end up being rubber stamped.

Instead of no go zones why not have scooter paths or do go zones.

The idea of a curfew is very old, stopping an electric bike is dangerous to those who expect it for tansport and miss the cutoff.

I love the false pretentious bargaining:
“It’s hoped all of Canberra’s major town centres can be connected through a shared path network so riders can be kept off major arterial roads.”
Google translate comes up with:
“We’re going to spend money on this to show how awesome we want to invest in these startups because these are the real people we want in Canberra and if you didn’t want us to spend money we’ll just let them loose on the roads.”

However we all know the last part will come true at a later date. we’ll start having scooter / bike lanes next to all the major roads in the town centres.

The studies that have been published disagree with my anecdotal opinions therefore they must be wrong…


Program the scooters with an unlock test that operates after, e.g. 9pm, which most people cant do when drunk, e.g. a difficult sudoku, correctly reciting the national anthem, or listing five virtues of the prime minister.

Surely natural selection will sort the problem out in time…

Capital Retro10:07 am 09 Mar 22

The only effective curfew would be from 1st January to 31st December, each year.

Good ‘Ole Capital Retro…. no “in this review it said……”, or “what the real problem is….”, or “you are missing the point…..”, “let me enlighten you……”? I for one love them! Bring them on I say………

Capital Retro2:56 pm 09 Mar 22

It is ludicrous to think that booze busses will be out in the early hours to catch the ratbags riding these infernal, virtue signaling deathtraps.

When is the government going to admit that they are folly and ban them permanently?

It’s a bit like when a politician reduces Covid restrictions and says we’re encouraging people to take “Personal Responsibility”.

You can be “responsible” but if others aren’t, your own “responsibility” counts for nothing.

E-scooters by their nature attract risk-takers. Hospital admissions confirm this. Yet, the Government allows and encourages them to flourish, but, with the threat of large fines, that’ll never be collected.

How many people have been fined $750 for smoking at a bus stop, since that legislation was introduced? Based on discarded butts, I’m guessing none? What about the $500 fine for dropping that butt? I’m guessing none again? I see people smoking at bus stops everyday. I then get on the bus and see people not wearing masks.
Who is enforcing the $200 fine?

So fines for E-scooters?

I agree with CR. These things are dangerous, not only to the rider but anyone who shares the footpaths with them. Reduce their speed to 10kph and put blood alcohol sensors on the E-scooters and maybe I’ll support them.


You’re pretty quick to ban a vehicle that doesn’t kill 1100 people a year and hospitalise 40,000 in Australia alone.

What are the real deathtraps?

The Luddite Brigade is here in force!

Capital Retro9:47 am 10 Mar 22

There are over 20 million registered cars on Australian roads.

How many unregistered scooters are “all over the place” in Canberra?

Capital Retro9:50 am 10 Mar 22

You may wish to review that comment after you trip over one or you are run down and maimed.

Or you could move with the times and redress your usual rhetoric (no matter the topic mind you – you always have the “right side of the argument”)

Capital Retro11:52 am 10 Mar 22

I express opinions based on facts and actual experiences that are difficult for some people to accept.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.