The government of NSW recently announced that the state will run an electric scooter trial. Electric scooters for adults in Australia increased in demand in recent years, especially during the height of the pandemic, making e-scooters and other micro-mobility devices a must-have among commuters.
The 12-month trial will begin next year, but a specific date is yet to be announced. The NSW Transport is set to talk to local councils regarding the possible trial locations and see how e-scooters fit in the state’s transport network.
NSW Minister for Transport and Roads Rob Stokes says, "New transport technologies like e-scooters are exciting and offer an affordable, convenient and sustainable mode of mobility, particularly for first and last-mile journeys."
Moreover, Stokes emphasised that the NSW government is keen to implement e-scooters, but safety is a priority.
"An important part of this process will be to identify suitable locations and requirements to support the safe integration of this technology into the road network," Stokes said.
The NSW e-scooter trial is a response to the growing demand for private electric scooters in the state. Currently, NSW bans commuters from riding electric scooters and other micro-mobility devices in public. These can only be ridden within private property. Moreover, current NSW e-scooter law prohibits e-scooters on road-related areas, such as footpaths, parking spaces, and open public spaces.
Riders caught using e-scooters in public will receive a fine of $78. However, electric scooter online stores and local retailers may sell electric scooters in NSW. Learn more about the electric scooter law in NSW.
The NSW government abandoned plans for a trial in Sydney earlier this year, despite the nationwide push to legalise electric scooters and other micro-mobility devices. According to reports, Transport Minister Andrew Constance was “not in the mood” to allow e-scooters in Sydney, despite the recommendations to hold an e-scooter trial.
The main concern in legalising e-scooters is safety. The NTC’s 2020 report says that all modes of transport carry risks while riding. However, it is difficult to assess the risk of riding e-scooters since it depends on how they are used.
Moreover, there have been reports of accidents, e-scooter littering, and people falling over them. However, people who support e-scooters say they free up traffic and commuters on public transport.
In the end, NSW will implement a trial and assess how e-scooters will integrate into the current transport system. E-scooter riders in NSW will need to wait for further news and announcements to know more about the upcoming e-scooter trial.
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