With the holiday season hovering, impatient to make a grand entrance, commuting in Queensland and ACT has taken a hopeful turn and that the winds of change has come. Riding an electric scooter is no longer considered as restrictive as it was before.
While there are other states that have an ongoing e-scooter trial or have prohibitive regulations (allowing only a motor of 200W and at a mandated top speed of 10 km/h), including imposing strict penalties and sanctions, in other states mentioned however, electric scooters are allowed on footpaths and shared paths, which makes the commuting more relaxed as the rules are more lenient. In most states too, electric scooters aren’t required to be registered and have insurance.
But. Don’t ever let your guard down. Just like riding a bike, riding an electric scooter in the city entails making use of all your senses. The rule of thumb can’t be emphasized more often: You must stay alert at all times.
First and foremost, practice riding at least 5 to 8 times to get the hang of urban or city riding, before you actually ride in public. To make sure that you stay safe on the road, read and follow these essential scootering tips:
1. Always give yourself enough time on where you plan to go, so you don’t rush.
2. Make sure that your electric scooter’s battery is fully charged before riding, to avoid the inconvenience of getting stranded somewhere.
3. Follow your state’s electric scooter laws. This is non-negotiable.
4. Always do a safety checklist on your e-scooter before you ride.
5. Do not ever use noise-cancelling earphones/headphones while riding on the road.
6. Be on the defensive driving/riding mode while riding.
7. Both your hands must be on the handlebar at all times; never make a signal using one hand.
8. Take note of every moving object while you’re in motion.
9. Go with the flow of traffic but keep a safe distance.
10. Make a mental note of the road surfaces you’re going to cover/pass, every time you commute.
11. Proactively use your bell or horn to make your presence known to other commuters, drivers, riders.
12. Watch out for parked cars and for passengers opening doors (both on the driver and passenger side).
13. Assume drivers, cyclists and pedestrians can’t see you, so anticipate other people’s actions.
14. Always provide enough space for emergency braking.
15. Do not attempt to tailgate a car to avoid getting caught in between vehicles when the car makes a sudden stop.
16. If you’re on the street, stick to either to the left or right side of the lane.
17. Always assume that cars will turn into your path.
18. If you need to make a turn, wait for the green light, allow cars to pass, before you ride onto the street.
19. Don’t make a habit of riding at night, but if it cannot be avoided, make sure you are wearing a high-visibility, reflective gear.
20. Always wear a helmet
Avoid riding a scooter under wet road conditions or during a downpour as much as possible, to avoid potential skidding, and other accidents.
Riding an electric scooter using defensive driving techniques actually isn’t complicated just follow road traffic rules, you will be safe and the likelihood of you getting into accidents can be prevented. Keeping in line with road regulations will also help keep your electric scooters from being banned.