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Mearth, Australia’s first electric scooter developer, supports the petition to legalise electric personal mobility devices (PMD) which include electric scooters, electric skateboards, and electric unicycles. This is in support of the petition and movement started by the Electric Riders Australia earlier this year.
The petition addresses the President and Members of the Senate in the Australian Parliament and calls on the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, and Regional Development to support the amendment of the Australian Road Rules and legalise PMDs. Currently, it is still illegal to ride PMDs in public areas for most Australian States and Territories as e-scooters, e-skateboards, and the like are not officially classified or recognised.
Last year, the National Transport Commission released a report which contained recommended additional guidelines for the Australian Road Rules. This paved the way for legalising PMDs. However, all members of the Infrastructure and Transport National Cabinet Reform Committee must agree for it to pass.
The Electric Riders Australia was established to represent the people who ride different PMDs for different purposes. Since the start of the campaign, the organisation has reached out to Ministers and Members to discuss the PMD’s legalisation, partnered with industry leaders, and educated the public on their rights and the benefits of PMD.
The petition aims to gather 6,500 signatures and only less than a thousand is currently needed to complete their goal. Signing the petition will let these members know that there is a huge support for the legislation.
How to join the campaign
Show your support by going to https://electricriders.org.au/petition and adding your name and details to the petition.
Also, feel free to share Mearth’s Facebook post to encourage more PMD riders to sign the petition and support the cause.
Why legalise PMDs
Legalising PMDs across Australia will have several benefits not only for the riders but the rest of the country. Here are just some of them.
Enable the use of PMDs anywhere
Recently, a teenager in Darwin received a fine for riding an e-scooter in a public area where e-scooters were already legal. Meanwhile, an e-skateboard rider was fined $697 for not having his e-skateboard insured. Electric Riders Australia has also confirmed seeing other instances online regarding fines or warnings from the police.
Unfortunately, until PMDs are legalised and recognised across the country, commuters and the law may continue to be misinformed and inflexibility will inconvenience PMD riders. Moreover, legalising PMDs will also help enforce better policies for the safety and convenience of PMD riders.
Provide a quick and efficient mode of transport
Legalising PMDs such as electric scooters will provide commuters with a quick, efficient, and low-cost transportation. After all, with its slim design, e-scooters and other PMDs can bypass traffic easily, saving time and productivity.
In fact, when the City of Darwin began their e-scooter trial last year, General Manager Josh Sattler said, “It’s really exciting for us. We have beautiful green spaces but it’s so hard to get around because it’s quite hot. Motorised scooters are a great option for both locals and tourists, providing a quick, effortless and inexpensive mode of transport to move around the city.”
Use a socially distant transport option
According to TechCrunch, “The coronavirus pandemic is acting as a catalyst for urban transformation across Europe as city authorities grapple with how to manage urban mobility without risking citizens’ health or inviting gridlock by letting cars flood in.” This is not only true for Europe but also for Australia and other countries globally.
Although Australia has successfully flattened the curve in the past months, legalising and encouraging the use of PMDs provides commuters with an alternative transport that avoids riding with groups of people and allows them to follow social distancing during travel.
Encourage a more active way to commute
Although PMDs offer less physical activity compared to riding bicycles, they still give a light form of exercise. In fact, a study by the University of Brighton found that riding an e-scooter for 45 minutes can burn 350 calories per hour. Some manufacturers also claim that it helps tone and strengthen the body and promote stability and body coordination. Overall, PMDs are a fun and active way to travel outdoors.
Reap the economic benefits
PMDs offer an opportunity for increased savings, productivity, and economic activity. In a 2019 survey in Auckland, New Zealand, e-scooter ride-sharing platform Lime found that 41% of riders said that riding e-scooters made living in the city more affordable.
However, aside from the financial benefit of the individual, e-scooters offer locals and tourists the chance to ride around the city and explore its shops. In a 2019 survey of Washington, DC riders, Lime found that 72% of riders visited more local shops and explored more attractions using an e-scooter.
Aside from this, PMDs can help save travellers time and productivity. According to the 2020 INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard, Sydney lost 51 hours due to congestion. This was 51% lower compared to 2019 due to the impact of the pandemic. However, using PMDs and providing sufficient infrastructure for these mobility solutions will help reduce commuters’ time significantly in the long run. In turn, this increases productivity for businesses and individuals.
Join the movement with Mearth
As one of the leading e-scooter developers in the country, Mearth electric scooter believes that innovative transportation not only relies on brands or manufacturers producing quality transport solutions but also with the support of the legislation. Although the future of electric scooters and other PMDs is unclear, providing multiple transportation options will enable commuters to travel quickly, safely, and efficiently for a reasonable cost.