22 January 2021

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

| Lottie Twyford
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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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.

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 Azzopardi2:42 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.

Capital Retro4:10 pm 24 Oct 20

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

Or one more ambulance on the road………

Scott Anthony5:25 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 Retro7:40 am 26 Oct 20

That’s what I was alluding to.

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.

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

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

Capital Retro11:21 am 25 Oct 20

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

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.

Policing traffic saves more lives than anything else the police do.

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