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.
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.