Updated on 24 April 2020
Electric scooters or e-scooters are easy, convenient, and fun to use. The use of e-scooters is still strictly regulated in Australia. Other retailers that sell e-scooters sometimes end up giving wrong information about this matter. While there are no rules and regulations that prevent these sales, electric scooter laws in Australia varies from state to state.
Each state has its own set of laws and regulations which determines how you can use e-scooters in that region. It’s always best to know the information before riding your e-scooter.
Summarised Electric Scooter Laws in Australia by State
Electric Scooter Laws in Queensland:
In Queensland, it is legal to ride an e-scooter on public roads and footpaths. The standard speed limit in QLD is 25km/h. For riding around the south bank the speed limit should be 10km/h. The law prohibits e-scooters along the bike lanes and in areas with a 50km/h speed limit.
Additionally, here are some rules that riders must follow:
- Riders should wear helmets
- Children under 12 cannot ride, and riders up to 16 must be supervised by an adult.
- Riders must give way to pedestrians
- Speed limit to 25km/h
There will be a fine up to $130 for rule-breakers.
Electric Scooter Laws in Victoria:
In Victoria, the law allows 200w power output. It also permits a speed limit of 10km/h that can be use on public roads and footpaths. There are no specific laws presented on what requirements to follow but, the Victorian state government set rules on certain kinds of scooters.
If the source of power for your Motorised Scooter is petrol motor:
- has an electric motor with a maximum power greater than 200 watts
- has a maximum speed greater than 10 km/h
- it is not legal to use on Australian Roads or any road-related areas, including footpaths, shared paths, and public areas.
The fine for an illegal device is $826.
Electric Scooter Laws in ACT:
As of 20th December 2019, the ACT Government announced that the e-scooters, skateboards and any similar device shall be legally driven on shared paths and footpaths.
According to Minister for Justice, Consumer Affairs, and Road Safety Shane Rattenbury, this law will enable the ACT to move towards its target sustainable power source.
Laws around the use of Electric Scooters include:
- a maximum speed of 15 km/h on footpaths
- up to 25 km/h in all other permitted locations
- Users must wear a helmet
- slow down to 10 km/h when going across a crossing
- and give way to pedestrians.
To find out about the new rules and which devices are eligible visit JACS.
Electric Scooter Laws in NSW:
Currently, NSW does not allow riding an e-scooter on public roads and footpaths. However, the law permits it on private ground.
There are location-specific trial programs for e-scooters in both Manly and Bondi. The state government has formed an e-scooter working group aimed to offer trial programs and help determine the fate of e-scooters in the region.
An e-scooter ride-sharing company has formed a campaign asking members to lobby the government to start a trial for shared scooters.
Given this, we are expecting that the NSW transport minister will revise the laws to keep up with the new form of city transportation as done by Queensland.
Electric Scooter Laws in SA:
In South Australia, the law does not allow riding an e-scooter on public roads and footpaths. However, the law allows riding on private grounds.
The South Australia state government will update its transport legislation to allow e-scooters on public grounds in the near future. Yet, recently the government gave permission to an e-scooter sharing company to bring 500 e-scooters to Adelaide’s CBD for a trial period. Upon the success of this trial, we could be seeing e-scooters on the roads of Adelaide.
If caught riding an e-scooter not approved for this trial there will be a fine for driving an unregistered and uninsured motor vehicle for $1232.
The main Electric Scooter Laws for the Trial are:
- User must be at least 18 years old
- Should wear a bike helmet that is fitted
- Rider must not ride in bike lanes or bus lanes
- Shall not exceed 15km/h or a lesser speed if required in the circumstances to stop safely to avert danger
- Must not use a mobile phone whilst riding
- Must not carry scooters on public transport.
Electric Scooter Laws in WA:
E-scooter users ought to follow the rules as to where, and when, they can ride. The law does not permit the use of shared paths and footpaths for e-scooters. As long as they keep on the left side and give way to pedestrians.
Riders must also wear a helmet.
The Road Traffic Code 2000 states that motorised scooters are not authorized:
- On roads with a speed limit exceeding 50km/h;
- A road with a dividing line or median strip;
- A one-way road with more than one marked lane; or
- During the hours of darkness
Electric Scooter Laws in NT:
E-scooters that are limited to less than 200w in power output and capable speeds below 10km/h are permitted for use on public roads and footpaths. Scooters exceeding this power and speed will require registration.
In addition, according to V56 motor vehicles act of NT Government:
Motorised scooters with a power output greater than 200 watts are defined as motor vehicles in the NT Motor Vehicles Act. As motor vehicles, motorised scooters used on roads, or in public places, need to be registered and ridden by licensed riders. However, motorised scooters are not designed or manufactured to comply with registration requirements and national safety standards for road vehicles, such as Australian Design Rules (ADRs). Therefore, they cannot be granted registration for on-road use and may not be ridden on public roads or places open to the public (including footpaths, bike paths, carparks, etc.
We are expecting the Northern Territory state government to update their transport legislation to allow faster and more powerful scooters later this year, following the footsteps of Queensland.
E-Scooter Laws in TAS:
The power limit that the law allows is less than 200w for it to set foot on public roads and footpaths. Scooters exceeding this power and speed will require registration.
Some rules apply:
- User must wear helmets
- Can be used on paths and roads where the speed limit is 50 km/h or less but cannot be used on roads with dividing lines or median strips;
- Must keep to the left on roads and paths and must not be ridden two abreast;
- The use of e-scooters at night is not permittable unless for crossing the shortest route; and
- Users must give way to walkers and ride with due care and attention.
E-scooters are still on a testing phase for most states here in Australia. But they have gained traction over the past few months. With the convenience of e-scooters and electric bikes, it’s only a matter of time until we see more people using these vehicles. Especially with the pandemic going on, the trend of using e-scooters also went up. And in no time after the pandemic, the laws will change to follow suit. The future looks bright.
If you’re still unsure of the laws in your state or region, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for more information.