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Road rules set to change to accommodate e-scooters in the ACT

Lachlan Roberts 4 September 2019 40

E-scooters are set to be legalised in the next three months. Photo: Lachlan Roberts.

E-scooter enthusiasts will soon be able to travel around the nation’s capital in their two-wheeled vehicles with the ACT Government hoping to change the road rules to accommodate the new mode of transport by the end of the year.

E-scooters and similar devices are currently not permitted to be used in public areas in the ACT but Minister for Road Safety Shane Rattenbury hopes to have that changed in the coming months.

After a month of public consultation which saw more than 650 people fill out a survey, Mr Rattenbury said the Government will now develop a framework for the use of e-scooters which ACT Policing will enforce.

The YourSay community survey asked the community’s views on what the legal maximum speed on an e-scooter should be, where these devices should be allowed to travel, and what restrictions should be put in place on who could use the devices.

Nearly 50 per cent of respondents said 16-year-olds and up should be allowed to ride these devices unsupervised. Riding e-scooters in bike lanes had strong support with 89 per cent as well as allowing them to be ridden on footpaths (75 per cent).

Mr Rattenbury said the consultation also showed areas that people were worried about, with older Canberrans sharing their concern about e-scooters being quiet and difficult to hear when approaching.

“We will take these contributions on board in developing a framework that encourages the use of e-scooters, while not compromising on road safety,” Mr Rattenbury said. “We heard that the use of safety equipment such as a helmet, bell, braking system and lights are necessary safety requirements for these devices.”

The maximum speed for e-scooters was a major talking point, with 44 per cent saying the maximum speed limit fo the scooters should be under 25 kilometres per hour, while 36 per cent supported 25 kilometres per hour as the maximum speed.

“Particularly on speed, people have drawn a distinction between being on a dedicated bike path compared to being in a high-pedestrian area,” Mr Rattenbury said. “So we will look at differentiated speed limits.”

Mr Rattenbury said the Government will also run a tender process to see which operators would like to operate a share-scooter theme in the ACT after the framework is introduced, with at least five different operators already expressing their interest to the ACT Government.

“There is a big growth area in commercial share-scooter schemes,” Mr Rattenbury said. “We need to get a regulatory framework in place because operators would like to come and operate in Canberra.”


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40 Responses to Road rules set to change to accommodate e-scooters in the ACT
Corey Karl Corey Karl 10:00 pm 08 Sep 19

Or you could just walk ???

Debbie Maz Debbie Maz 6:53 am 06 Sep 19

Is it Australia or the ACT that is slow to accept innovation and change ?!! 🤔🤔

Capital Retro Capital Retro 8:46 pm 05 Sep 19

We are “obsessed” with cars because Canberra was planned for cars, not for scooters which were toys when I was young. Now they are powered toys for hipsters.

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 7:26 pm 05 Sep 19

Maybe it’s time for a re-make of Malcolm, with e-scooters, drones (of various types) and shiny red trams – Canberra could lead the world (so to speak) with the first carbon-neutral heist movie…..

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 10:04 pm 05 Sep 19

    …to be filmed in a pop-up, carbon-neutral bubble.

Jenny Cleave Jenny Cleave 5:22 pm 05 Sep 19

From a BBC article on EPVs:

How dangerous are they?

An explosion in the popularity of motorised scooters appears to have caught governments off guard, and companies that manufacture and supply scooters are not currently required to provide certain safety features - some scooters only have one brake and can be difficult to stop when travelling at speed.

Since January 2018, at least 11 deaths have been linked to the scooters in cities including Paris, Brussels, Barcelona, Stockholm and London.

Hundreds of people have been injured in road traffic incidents involving the vehicles:

Anura Samara Anura Samara 5:02 pm 05 Sep 19

I can’t see the issue here. We have electric bikes, we have manual scooters. Allowing electric scooters is hardly a step into some sort of new and weird territory.

    Jacob Mulholland Jacob Mulholland 12:13 am 06 Sep 19

    E-Bikes are peddle assist. They're not 100% driven from the motor. They're are actual electric bikes however not as common as far as I can tell.

    These seem to fall under the same category as segways.

    Anura Samara Anura Samara 9:04 am 06 Sep 19

    Jacob Mulholland fair point. But the technical difference is relatively minor to people’s concerns about their introduction. It’s just another form of personal transport. If the scooters could go faster than a bike I could understand new concerns.

Ethan Sharp Ethan Sharp 4:54 pm 05 Sep 19

Mudcrab Metcalfe ride scooter at luncheon

    Barry Pope Barry Pope 11:15 am 07 Sep 19

    Mudcrabs on scooters going to lunch! Good one!!

Peter Gersbach Peter Gersbach 4:31 pm 05 Sep 19

So if these are allowed, can Segways be next?

    Terry Grosvenor-Jones Terry Grosvenor-Jones 10:16 am 08 Sep 19

    Peter, segways were ok'd a couple of years ago.

    Peter Gersbach Peter Gersbach 10:36 am 08 Sep 19

    Terry, only for that tour company around the lake? Can you ride one through Civic?

    Terry Grosvenor-Jones Terry Grosvenor-Jones 10:59 am 08 Sep 19

    Peter, any cycle path

    Terry Grosvenor-Jones Terry Grosvenor-Jones 11:02 am 08 Sep 19

    Peter Gersbach https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6038491/segways-to-be-approved-for-recreational-use-on-canberra-paths-and-roads/digital-subscription/

Guy Manton Guy Manton 4:10 pm 05 Sep 19

From reading the comments Im pretty staggered at how bad we are at adapting to change in oz. These things are everywhere in Europe and they seem to have no major dramas. But in Australia we act like if its not a car it will kick off the apocalypse.....

    Annie Wyer Annie Wyer 7:57 pm 05 Sep 19

    Guy Manton I’ve seen one wheel unicycles from Segway being riden in Paris - on the road and on footpaths, no one batts an eyelid - they look fantastic, the rider, in business suits, with earphones in and sending messages on their mobile phones 😱 and traffic giving way, if that happened here, people will be hyper-ventilating and heads will be exploding 🤯🤯🤯!!!

    Guy Manton Guy Manton 8:30 pm 05 Sep 19

    Annie Wyer yeah Im in Europe at the mo, and its making me realise how car obsessed we are in oz. And other transport is only ever considered in the context of how it will affect cars.

    Annie Wyer Annie Wyer 9:04 pm 05 Sep 19

    Guy Manton and it was the “utes will be taken off the road” during the LNP campaign that tells it like it is... grunt car obsessed to boot!

Gilavon Gilavon 4:05 pm 05 Sep 19

Will they be required to have a bell or warning device? Probably wouldn’t make much difference, bikes have bells but bike riders don’t know how to use them. Think there won’t be much difference between the attitude to pedestrians among scooters than there is with too many cyclists. Must brush up on martial arts.

    Maya123 Maya123 9:43 pm 05 Sep 19

    Or more that some pedestrians don’t hear the bell. I have rung it, but they don’t hear the bell because of earphones. Ring the bell, no reaction, ring the bell again, still no reaction. With those earphones of theirs they are in a world of their own; not this world. So unaware of their surrounds.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 3:39 pm 05 Sep 19

Will the government build heaps of free, fast recharging stations all over Canberra?

Monica Arnold Monica Arnold 2:19 pm 05 Sep 19

Piet Arnold my scoot life is looking up

Boyo Birch Boyo Birch 2:00 pm 05 Sep 19

Allow them of course like QLD.

Nick James Nick James 1:16 pm 05 Sep 19

Now Canberrans can take their lane merging skills onto the footpath...

Veronika Sain Veronika Sain 12:48 pm 05 Sep 19

lol, it's like a script from Utopia. Instead of hiring road safety experts they decided to do it via hardly accessible online public survey. Saves money and they can say they "consulted widely" :D

    Trish Roberts Trish Roberts 2:10 pm 05 Sep 19

    Veronika Sain Was there an option that said, “We don’t want them”?

    Veronika Sain Veronika Sain 2:47 pm 05 Sep 19

    No - so they’d made at least one decision.

    Megan Baker-Goldsmith Megan Baker-Goldsmith 5:42 pm 05 Sep 19

    Veronika Sain I did the survey and do not want was, in fact an option.

    Veronika Sain Veronika Sain 9:26 pm 05 Sep 19

    I did it too and didn’t see that as an option. 🤔

    Oh well, back to them not being able to make any decisions themselves. 😆

Keran Niquet Keran Niquet 12:37 pm 05 Sep 19

Just more pandering to a minority group!

Greg Hunt Greg Hunt 12:15 pm 05 Sep 19

Do you have to wear a helmet?

    Greg Hunt Greg Hunt 4:51 pm 05 Sep 19

    Sort of don’t see the difference with a pushy.

    Barry Pope Barry Pope 11:16 am 07 Sep 19

    Only when I'm riding my bike. How about you?

Jill Moran Jill Moran 10:20 am 05 Sep 19

Awesome, I can't wait :)

Grace Morgan Grace Morgan 10:04 am 05 Sep 19

Yes it's wonderful they are all over the footpaths in Auckland, sod the pedestrians.

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