As more private and shared adult electric scooters zip through Australian streets, e-scooter riders should always follow traffic rules and be wary of their surroundings to keep themselves and others safe. Moreover, riders should learn the spoken and unspoken electric scooter etiquette on the road. If you are a new or experienced e-scooter rider, brush up on the following electric scooter safety and etiquette tips.
Although electric scooters can ride anywhere thanks to their compact size, electric scooters in Australia are prohibited to ride certain pathways. For example, some states and territories in Australia don’t allow e-scooters on footpaths. These include New South Wales, South Australia, and Western Australia. However, the rest of Australia allows e-scooters on footpaths.
If riding on footpaths is prohibited or unavailable, you should ride on bicycle paths or lanes, as well as other designated paths, lanes, or areas for e-scooters. That’s why it’s important to know your city’s electric scooter law to know which areas and routes you can ride. Riders caught riding prohibited areas will be fined.
One of the electric scooter safety tips to practice on the road is riding at the right speed limit and keeping a distance from others. Electric scooter laws per state often limit e-scooters to 10 kph, while some states like Queensland allow up to 25 kph. Avoid going over your city’s speed limit for your safety and others.
Aside from this, keep a safe distance from other micro-mobility devices, cars, and pedestrians. Maintain at least a two-car distance. This allows you to react accordingly in case of an emergency or accident. Anything can happen on the road and speeding through traffic will only increase your chances of incurring injuries. So, stay safe on the road by maintaining the right speed and distance.
There may be times that it is safer to dismount your e-scooter and push it temporarily until it is safer to ride. This includes traffic junctions and congested areas. Riding your electric scooter in these conditions will make it difficult for you to manoeuvre the e-scooter. Moreover, it increases your chances of crashing with vehicles and pedestrians.
Also, remember that electric scooters are not allowed inside establishments like malls unless it allows them. If you bring your e-scooter inside establishments, dismount your e-scooter, fold it, and bring it inside if allowed. Otherwise, park it outside. Make sure to have a strong electric scooter lock to keep your e-scooter safe from theft.
Electric scooter laws in Australia always remind riders to give way to pedestrians. When riding on a path, always keep left and be wary of pedestrians. However, make sure that you consider other micro-mobility riders as well. When approaching other riders, practice riding in single file. Follow these habits to keep yourself safe on the road.
Aside from these, one of the practices to alert pedestrians and fellow riders is by using lights and bells. Use the bell to warn oncoming pedestrians and riders. Meanwhile, your taillights will alert pedestrians and other vehicles behind you if you come to a full stop. These lights are especially useful when riding at night. So, make sure your e-scooter is fitted with lights.
If you run into rain while riding on an e-scooter, make sure to pull over and retreat to a covered area. Don’t ride in harsh weather as it is unsafe for you and your e-scooter. Moreover, riding in the rain also increases the chance of hitting someone or something since there is less visibility on the road.
In addition, although some e-scooters have an IP rating that makes them water-resistant, e-scooters can’t withstand being submerged in water or receiving large volumes of water. The e-scooter will break down and become damaged when this happens. Even riding on puddles can damage the e-scooter parts since it is mostly electrical. Keep your e-scooter in top condition by keeping it away from water.
Overall, the most important part of riding e-scooters in public is following traffic rules. Make sure you know the electric scooter laws in Australia and traffic regulations in your city, including road signs and traffic lights. Moreover, always anticipate situations on the road and practise caution, especially when riding in new places.
If you are a beginner, make sure to practice riding an e-scooter on private property first before heading out into the road. Master riding your e-scooter to avoid accidents. Finally, explore safely when in public, and don’t push yourself and your e-scooter.
Lastly, learn to park your electric scooter properly in public. This is a must-know electric scooter etiquette as many riders of both private and shared electric scooters don’t know how to park them safely on pathways. In fact, some articles report pedestrian accidents due to improperly parked e-scooters.
Aside from this, make it a habit to clean or sanitise the e-scooter if you are using a shared e-scooter. Do this before and after to keep yourself clean while riding and as a courtesy to the next user.
Keep the following electric scooter etiquette rules in mind to ride safely and properly on the road. Know your city’s e-scooter law to learn more about what you can and can’t do in public.
For more electric scooter guides, check out Mearth’s blogs.