As of this writing, it is okay to use electric scooters for commuting in Queensland and ACT. Other states either have an e-scooter trial or have prohibitive regulations (a motor of 200W and at a top speed of 10 km/h). Electric scooters are allowed in footpaths and shared paths, so using it for commuting is pretty much safe.
But that doesn’t mean you should let your guard down. Riding an electric scooter in the city is similar to riding a bike, you need to stay alert at all times. In most states, electric scooters aren’t required to be registered and have insurance, so getting into a crash won’t just hurt you physically.
To make sure that you stay safe on the road, here are essential scootering tips for electric scooter commuters in Brisbane and Canberra.
Urban Commuting with your Electric Scooter
- Have at least 5 practice rides before using your electric scooter in public.
- Always give yourself enough time so you don’t rush.
- Follow your state’s electric scooter laws.
- Always check your preflight and safety checklist before a ride.
- Take note of every moving thing while you’re in motion.
- Make a mental note of road surfaces every time you commute.
- Watch out for parked cars for passengers opening doors (both driver and passenger side).
- Assume drivers, cyclists and pedestrians can’t see you. Anticipate other people’s actions.
- Never signal with one-hand. Always make sure both your hands are on the handlebar at all times.
- Make your presence known and proactively use your bell or horn.
- Do not wear noise-cancelling earphones/headphones.
- Go with the flow of traffic.
- Always provide room for emergency braking.
- If you’re on the street, hang to the left or right side of the lane.
- Do not attempt to tailgate a car.
- Assume that cars will turn into your path.
- If you need to make a turn, wait for the green light, allow cars to pass, and then ride onto the street.
- If you must ride at night, make sure you have high-visibility or reflective gear.
- Avoid scootering under dark and/or wet road conditions as much as possible.
Other articles to read along with this guide:
Riding an electric scooter isn’t complicated as long as you follow road traffic rules. Using defensive driving techniques doesn’t only make you safe and prevents accidents. It also helps in keeping electric scooters from being banned.
Every time there is an accident involving an electric scooter, it only proves the assumption in some people’s heads that its danger on two wheels. It doesn’t matter if it were a genuine accident or human error. Notice that this doesn’t happen for bikes.
As we hopefully enter the next year without COVID-19, electric scooters will continue to prove that it’s a practical mode of public transportation. With this guide, you can finally make commuting fun.