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Electric Scooter Law in New South Wales (NSW)
Electric scooter laws in NSW state e-scooters are illegal to ride on public roads and road-related areas in NSW. According to rule 240(2)(c) of the NSW Road Rules, “A person must not travel in or on a wheeled recreational device on a road at any time while any person travelling in or on the device is wholly or partly assisted in propelling the device by means other than human power.”
According to legislation, a wheeled recreational device is defined as “a wheeled device, built to transport a person, propelled by human power or gravity, and ordinarily used for recreation or play...” These include rollerblades, roller skates, skateboards, scooters, and unicycles. However, it does include motor-assisted devices, pram, golf buggy, stroller or trolley, a bicycle, wheelchair, or wheeled toy. Therefore, electric scooter regulations state that it is illegal to ride electric scooters in NSW in public if it’s powered by electricity.
Electric scooters can only be ridden on private property. There are no regulations for riding an e-scooter on private property. However, riders must be careful not to ride e-scooters on road-related areas, which includes footpaths, open public spaces, and parking spaces.
Since there are no road-legal electric scooters, anyone caught with an e-scooter in public will be fined a penalty notice of $78. If a rider decides to take the matter to a court after receiving a fine, then the court has the discretion to impose a penalty of up to $2,200.
Despite these regulations, it is not illegal for retailers and manufacturers to buy and sell electric scooters in NSW. However, sellers can face penalties if they misinform customers.
Despite the growing popularity of electric scooters in NSW, the NSW government has yet to allow e-scooter trials in the state. Talks about e-scooter trials have started in 2019, and in August 2020, the National Transport Commission recommended allowing e-scooters in public and proposed guidelines. However, NSW Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said in February 2021 that electric scooter trials had been put on hold, putting NSW behind the surrounding states’ e-scooter laws.
Tips when riding an electric scooter
Since there are no electric scooter road rules for riding an e-scooter on private property, here are tips to keep you safe while riding. Riders are highly encouraged to follow these for their safety and enjoyment.
1. Wear a helmet
Even if electric scooter law in NSW doesn’t regulate riders riding on private property, riders must always wear a helmet when riding. As with other wheeled devices, an e-scooter can pose risks and accidents. So, riders must take care of themselves by wearing a helmet, such as a bicycle helmet. Protect yourself further by wearing eye protection, elbow and knee pads, and gloves. When riding at night, riders are also encouraged to wear a reflective vest or have lights fitted on the e-scooter to make riders more visible to others.
2. Don’t ride recklessly
Most e-scooters have a 25 km/h speed limit, but some can be adjusted manually to increase their speed limit. When riding in private, avoid speeding up in areas with rough terrain, as it can result in accidents. Moreover, avoid going near the speed limit of your e-scooter to prevent any accidents due to riding at high speeds. The best way to enjoy your rides is to ride safely and responsibly.
3. Use the right type of electric scooter when riding
If your private property has uneven or rough terrain, make sure not to use a basic or commuter electric scooter to ride on it. After all, a commuter scooter can’t handle off-road paths. It’s best to use an off-road e-scooter to ensure that your e-scooter can power through rough terrain easily. Moreover, using the right type of e-scooter will prolong your e-scooter’s lifespan and prevent damages to it.
4. Don’t ride in harsh weather
Keep yourself safe by avoiding riding during a rainy or snowy day. When it rains or snows, paths can get slippery, making it dangerous for riders. Moreover, visibility is low, making it difficult for riders to see their paths and ride safely.
Why should you buy an electric scooter?
1. A better way of commuting
Electric scooters may be currently illegal to ride in public in NSW, but once electric scooter law legalises e-scooters, it can become an efficient means for people to move around the city. It’s easier to bypass traffic, and it could lessen congestion on the road. Overall, you arrive at your destination faster in an affordable and fun way.
2. Sustainable travelling
One of the main reasons why electric scooters are gaining popularity is due to their eco-friendly travel solutions. Since electric scooters don’t emit any harmful gases, e-scooters are a more sustainable way of travelling. It will help reduce cars on the road and reduce the number of carbon emissions in the atmosphere. In the long run, it can help fight air pollution.
3. Gain access to opportunities
Since electric scooters offer an accessible and affordable way of travelling, commuters can gain access to more opportunities in the city. From going to school to accessing job opportunities, shared and private e-scooters offer a convenient way for anyone to travel.
Each state and territory in Australia has a different set of rules and regulations pertaining to the usage of e-scooters(including where e-scooters can legally be used and whether these products need to be registered with the relevant road traffic authority). Any user of this product must ensure that that they check and abide by their local by-laws and use responsibly. Ride with caution and always wear a helmet and protective gear when riding your Mearth e-scooter. Click here to learn more about E-scooter regulations in your state
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