Mearth electric scooter against a tile wall

Electric scooters are classified as motorised scooters under the Northern Territory (NT) electric scooter law. According to the law, e-scooters are defined as “motorised scooters with a power output greater than 200 watts are defined as motor vehicles in the NT Motor Vehicles Act.” Therefore, electric scooters with a motor power of over 200 watts must be registered in the NT and ridden by a licensed rider.


However, since motorised scooters do not comply with the requirements and standards for road vehicles, they can not be granted registration and can not be ridden in public roads and spaces. These include footpaths, bike paths, carparks, etc.


In short, private electric scooters are not allowed in public, but they can be ridden on private property. Electric scooter regulations do not apply to electric scooters when ridden on private property. However, riders are advised to ride with caution to avoid injuries.


The only electric scooter that the NT has allowed is the shared e-scooter company Neuron Mobility. In January 2020, the City of Darwin ran a 12-month electric scooter trial of Neuron shared e-scooters. The trial operated in different locations, namely in Cullen Bay, Darwin CBD, George Brown Botanic Gardens, Mindil Beach, and Waterfront.


Meanwhile, electric scooters can’t be ridden at the following locations:

  • inside the George Brown Botanic Gardens
  • inside Mindil Beach during the Sunset Markets
  • Smith Street Mall at any time
  • in the vicinity of Parliament House and the Supreme Court
  • Mitchell Street between Peel and Knuckey streets from 8 pm to 6 am.

  • During the trial, e-scooter riders must comply with this list of electric scooter road rules. These include:

  • style="font-weight: 400;">Riders must be at least 18 years old
  • Riders must wear an approved and fitted bike helmet
  • Riders may ride on footpaths and shared paths unless it is prohibited
  • Riders must keep to the left of the footpath or shared path unless it is impractical to do so
  • Riders must give way to any pedestrian on the footpath or shared path

  • Riders must not travel along a road unless:
  • there is an obstruction on a footpath, nature strip, or shared path adjacent to the road
  • it is impracticable to travel in the adjacent area
  • e-scooter travels less than 50m along the road to avoid the obstruction
  • travelling in a bicycle lane.

  • Riders must not exceed 15km/h or a lesser speed if required in the circumstances to stop safely to avert danger
  • Riders must not use a mobile phone whilst riding
  • Riders must not carry scooters on public transport
  • Riders must not take it outside the trial area.

  • For the full list of electric scooter rules during the trial period, please read the full guidelines.


    During the e-scooter trial, electric scooter riders don’t need to have a licence or learner’s permit to ride one. However, breaking the road rules and laws can penalise the rider’s licence or permit. 


    After a year of a successful trial, the City of Darwin announced that it has extended Neuron’s permit for another 12 months.


    For more information on the electric scooter laws in NT, please visit this page.


    Electric Scooter Safety Tips

    For a safe and hassle-free riding experience, keep the following safety tips in mind whenever you ride an electric scooter.

    1. Wear safety gear

    As per NT electric scooter law, riders must wear a helmet during the e-scooter trial. However, riders driving on private property are also highly encouraged to wear a helmet for their safety. Add extra protection by wearing eye protection, gloves, and knee and elbow pads. Reflective vests are also recommended when riding at night.


    2. Stand on the e-scooter properly

    Place your dominant or strong leg behind and your weak leg in front, and stand up straight for a stable and comfortable riding position. When going uphill, lean forward, and when going downhill, lean backward to help you distribute your weight evenly on the e-scooter. Lastly, never ride with one hand! Always keep two hands on the handles for safe and better handling.


    3. Always keep left.

    As per NT e-scooter law, e-scooter riders must keep left when riding on footpaths and shared paths. In this way, you avoid bumping into pedestrians and other riders. Also, keeping left allows you to give way to pedestrians. 


    4. Avoid riding during bad weather

    Don’t ride an electric scooter when it’s raining. This can cause accidents since footpaths can be slippery. Try another mode of transportation instead if you need to go outside.


    The Benefits of Riding an Electric Scooter

    1. Saves on time

    Electric scooters can help you bypass traffic and get to your destination quicker. Moreover, this saves you a lot on travel time. You can have more time at work or home. 


    2. Offers an affordable way of commuting

    Electric scooters remove fuel costs and have little to no maintenance costs. They are also cheaper than owning and driving a car. Meanwhile, shared e-scooters are sometimes more affordable than public transportation.


    3. Helps reduce air pollution

    Since electric scooters don’t emit any harmful gases, you help reduce the carbon emission in cities, particularly from road transportation. In the long run, riding electric scooters are a convenient, efficient, and sustainable way of commuting.


    Electric Scooter Laws in Australia


    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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    By Jonathan Vicente

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