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(Image via adelaidenow.com.au)
In a recent report by The Advertiser, the SA police are set to have an e-scooter trial within the Adelaide CBD after receiving approval from the Road Traffic Act. The trial aims to extend the range of foot patrol and help them get around the area faster. This e-scooter trial is a first for the Australian police.
According to the article, the SA police will use three different types of e-scooters decked out with police livery, so the public can recognise these e-scooters as official police vehicles.
In the article, Assistant Commissioner Scott Duval said that the police e-scooter trial will determine if e-scooters are suitable for police use in the city. The trial will start as soon as the e-scooters have been fitted and the officers have been trained.
The public can also expect to see the officers patrol in their e-scooters in North Adelaide, through the South Parklands down to Greenhill Rd and down to Port Rd. The Advertiser also shares statements from police officers who are receiving the news positively. Overall, they are looking forward to how e-scooters can help with patrols.
Will electric scooters become the next mode of transportation for police officers? It’s too soon to know, but the trial will help determine its suitability.
The growing number of e-scooter trials in Australia
Ultimately, this police e-scooter trial in SA is also a great opportunity for the state to test out electric scooters as a mode of transportation.
Ming Ye, CEO of Mearth Technology, says “Hopefully, this can also help SA see how private e-scooters can help increase mobility within cities, and ultimately, legalise private e-scooters in the state.”
Private electric scooters are currently not allowed on public roads, footpaths, and spaces in SA. However, the state has allowed shared e-scooter operators Beam and Neuron to run an e-scooter trial. The e-scooter trial is currently operating in Adelaide CBD and North Adelaide. However, the e-scooter trial for North Adelaide is currently set to end by 31 October 2021.
Many states and territories in Australia have also yet to legalise private and commercial electric scooters, but the country is continuing to study its effects by allowing e-scooter trials in some states. Despite the safety concerns from legislators and the public, some electric scooter trials in Australia have been running successfully even in the midst of the pandemic.
Moreover, more cities in Australia are set to implement e-scooter trials within the year. This includes the upcoming e-scooter trial in Launceston and Hobart, TAS. Both cities are still finalising their e-scooter vendors and operators, but a decision is due in the coming weeks.
Moreover, the Tasmanian government is set to legalise electric scooters in the summer, allowing riders 16 years of age and older to ride both private and commercial operators with mandatory helmets. The law will be implemented before the e-scooter trial to enable operators to run the trial.
With more e-scooter trials in the country, this is an opportunity to develop proper guidelines, test e-scooter safety, and leverage the perks of electric scooters for cities and individuals. Currently, e-scooter trials are also in place in the cities of Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, and Darwin.