Police issue a blunt warning to e-scooter users: don’t be an idiot

Lottie Twyford 23 October 2020 35
Beam e-scooters

Beam e-scooters at Ainslie Place in Civic. Photo: Photox – Canberra Photography Services.

ACT Policing has a blunt warning for e-scooter users: be an idiot and you will face the consequences.

With e-scooters set to be a permanent fixture in the capital this summer, police are keen to educate Canberrans about the rules and regulations surrounding this new mode of transport.

Officer in Charge of Road Policing Detective Inspector Marcus Boorman emphasised the need for common sense while riding the e-scooters.

“If anyone thinks they can get on these things and undertake risky behaviour, and just be an idiot basically, well, then, there will be consequences,” he said.

Det Insp Boorman said there was a need for an “education and adjustment” period during which both Canberrans and police became used to the new technology.

Following a spate of accidents in other jurisdictions, ACT Policing is taking a “proactive” stance in educating the broader community about potential safety concerns.


READ ALSO: Scooting off to try Canberra’s newest craze


In the eyes of ACT Policing, e-scooters are much like any other vehicle, so helmets are obligatory and alcohol, drugs and mobile phones are prohibited.

As a result, Det Insp Boorman said people “out in the city having a great time” needed to pick another mode of transport to get home. He also pleaded with Canberrans not to “jump on an e-scooter and put yourself at risk”.

Maximum speed limits also apply – 15 km/h on footpaths and 25 km/h on cycle or shared paths. Riders also must slow down to 10 km/h at a crossing and riders have to give way to pedestrians.

“If there are a lot of people on the footpath, you are advised to slow down as you pass them,” Det Insp Boorman said.

His comments come in response to concerns over the speed limits, with some Canberrans worried they are simply too high.

E-scooters are also not supposed to be on the road, unless there is no footpath or it is simply impractical.

Children under the age of 12 must also be supervised by an adult, and either the scooter or rider must be wearing a light or reflector if riding at night. The scooter also needs to be fitted with a bell for safety.

The fine for breaking the rules is $153, although no infringements have been handed out to date.

Both Beam and Neuron scooters are now in full operation in the ACT.

More information can be found at Transport ACT.


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35 Responses to Police issue a blunt warning to e-scooter users: don’t be an idiot
Nick Swain Nick Swain 5:29 pm 29 Oct 20

Definitely a number of scooter riders take to the road when footpaths are right next to them. I have seen some ‘parked’ in driveways and on residential verges where cars are not allowed to park.

rossau rossau 5:14 pm 29 Oct 20

Police seem very keen to tell some of the rules, “riders have to give way to pedestrians”, and little more.
When will they educate the public about cars giving way to pedestrians? It’s mighty rare to see a car giving way as they should. (When will a pedestrian ever had some right at a roundabout?)
Now, when a turning car ought give way to a pedestrian crossing at an intersection, ought they also give way to an e-scooter travelling on the footpath and similarly crossing an intersection? This was my main warning to an e-scooter rental company so recently, “drivers raely, ever give way.”
Lastly, do the e-scooter companies rent the public space they’re left in? They’re somewhat akin to dumped rubbish.

CtlAltDel CtlAltDel 5:56 pm 25 Oct 20

Bike commuter: never ridden an eScooter. Probably never will. But I like them. Just ride them safely and we can all get along just fine.

Robert Azzopardi Robert Azzopardi 2:42 pm 25 Oct 20

I think it strange that comments here suggest that scooters and their riders are the problem but not cars and their drivers. Btw they are not dumped … they are rented and can’t be taken outside the limits set by the operator. Their location is identified by GPS.

Ross Bryant Ross Bryant 9:28 pm 24 Oct 20

Why introduce a problem that we didnt have to have? Walking is safer and there are buses, trams and ubers/taxis to get around in if the distance is too far to walk.

    Bob Jones Bob Jones 10:47 am 25 Oct 20

    Ross Bryant just because you wouldn't use one doesn't mean no one else would. But typical Boomer attitude.

    Lloyd Woodward Lloyd Woodward 10:20 pm 25 Oct 20

    Stop with this boomer thing. Im apparently a Boomer, but think this is a great idea. He is just a sad Panda.

Simon Southwell Simon Southwell 4:51 pm 24 Oct 20

They are dumped bloody everywhere

Capital Retro Capital Retro 4:10 pm 24 Oct 20

“Every person on a scooter means one less driver on the road…”

Or one more ambulance on the road………

    Scott Anthony Scott Anthony 5:25 pm 25 Oct 20

    newsflash mate, not every car needs an ambulance, so the theory that one less car = one less ambulance is deeply, deeply flawed… scooters are FAR more likely to need an ambulance for themselves or the people they hit… facts, try them..

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 7:40 am 26 Oct 20

    That’s what I was alluding to.

    buzz819 buzz819 5:15 pm 26 Oct 20

    You have the argument arse about. 1 more scooter = 1 less car BUT 1 more scooter = 1 more ambulance…

    So they are in fact saying that scooters are more likely to need an Ambulance.

Bekah Glaz Bekah Glaz 4:01 pm 24 Oct 20

Maybe they can issue a warning to cyclists that think a red light only applies to cars, and they can zoom across traffic lights when cars are going across...

Joe Zuzek Joe Zuzek 3:10 pm 24 Oct 20

Every person on a scooter means one less driver on the road...

Rob Thomas Rob Thomas 2:04 pm 24 Oct 20

But its what we do best!

Pusongha SD Pusongha SD 1:57 pm 24 Oct 20

Fad going to fade

Andrea Mya Riboust Andrea Mya Riboust 1:24 pm 24 Oct 20

Hate to say it but people being idiots was always going to happen, the events of this year alone are proof. I love Canberra and Canberrans but this idea... 🤐

ssek ssek 1:03 pm 24 Oct 20

I might suggest Detective Inspector Marcus Boorman find something better to do with his time than police the use of scooters.

    buzz819 buzz819 10:46 am 25 Oct 20

    How dare he try and you know, keep the public safe and enforce laws. What does this cop think he is doing.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 11:21 am 25 Oct 20

    Maybe he is worried about possible OMCG drive-by scooters?

    ssek ssek 7:43 am 26 Oct 20

    I wouldn’t be surprised at an article about roving gangs of scooter users doing skids and having a laugh. Never underestimate the ability of the ACT government and police to imagine a problem where there isn’t one. Have to keep the nanny state over legislated.

Jenny Purseglove Jenny Purseglove 12:30 pm 24 Oct 20

I rode the orange scooters in Darwin. Great way to get around if you are sensible.

Kriso Hadskini Kriso Hadskini 12:09 pm 24 Oct 20

Too little too late.

Christine Warren Christine Warren 12:05 pm 24 Oct 20

Wednesday night riding on the road around Kingston - not easy to see.

Mike Bailey Mike Bailey 11:40 am 24 Oct 20

These things breed faster than rabbits, last week there was one on the footpath outside of work. Yesterday there was eight!

Avril Pounds Avril Pounds 10:49 am 24 Oct 20

I saw a scooter rider last week sitting on a milk crate he'd put on the scooter.

Shaun Coash Shaun Coash 10:28 am 24 Oct 20

Michelle, I think they should just lock them all up. Lol

Nick Savino Nick Savino 10:19 am 24 Oct 20

Yeh last night in the rain ☔️ guy does a selfie on FAIRBAIRN ave ... good co-Ord 🙂

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