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Scooting around laws

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Scooting around laws

Residents are becoming increasingly frustrated with personal mobility device users putting lives in danger. WORDS: Caitlin Zerafa.

It’s an issue we can’t scoot away from. E-scooters continue to cause havoc on local roads and paths as some users flout rules, putting themselves and others in danger.

While local police continue to issue fines to those caught in the wrong, Sunshine Coast locals are fed up with near-misses and reckless riders.

Maroochydore resident Mark Stanley says e-scooters on the Coast are “out of control”, having witnessed several  “close calls”.

“My wife and myself walk and jog every second day in many different locations on the Sunshine Coast and have noticed that these e-scooters represent a major … risk to themselves and pedestrians in many locations,” Mr Stanley says.

“They seem to ignore all the laws – I would say that just one in 10 wear the mandatory helmet, most speed well beyond the approved limits on the footpaths, many are looking at smartphones mounted on the handlebars while riding, and they provide no warning when they quietly race up behind you at great speed on a footpath.

“We have had many close-calls from out-of-control e-scooter riders, and on the major roads have witnessed some speeding at more than 60kmh and ignoring traffic signals and so on.”

Mr Stanley says those disobeying the rules are “irresponsible and dangerous” and believes more needs to be done to help police identify offenders: “We need these e-scooters and e-bikes to be registered and have a small number plate displayed on the rear so riders and offenders can be identified.”

A Department of Transport and Main Roads spokesperson tells My Weekly Preview it is unlikely that registration would be implemented for e-scooters.

“Registration has been considered several times and it has been conclusively determined that the administrative and regulatory costs to both users and government outweigh any benefits of such a scheme,” the spokesperson says.

“E-scooters are not required to be registered in any Australian jurisdiction and this is the same as for bicycles and other small recreational vehicles.

“A lack of registration is not a barrier to police enforcement of illegal e-scooter use.

“Police can and do enforce e-scooter riders who do the wrong thing and regularly issue fines for behaviours such as not wearing a helmet, speeding, riding on prohibited roads, carrying passengers, and general road rule breaches such as failing to comply with signs and traffic lights.

“Since new safety rules came into place for e-scooters in late-2022, police have issued more than 5000 fines to e-scooter riders who choose to do the wrong thing.”

A Queensland Police Service spokesperson is reminding everyone of the laws surrounding e-scooters.

“Designed for single person use only, an e-scooter is not permitted to travel faster than 25kmh, with the maximum allowable speed for riders on a shared path or footpath being 12kmh,” they say.

“Riders must also be aware that PMDs can only be used on paths and roads where the speed limit is 50kmh or less and are not permitted to travel on a main road or highway. Other safety measures include a person riding an e-scooter having to wear a helmet at all times, not drinking and riding and not using a mobile phone while in motion.”

Sunshine Coast companies Sidelines Traffic and Oggy E-Scooters are developing an e-scooter education program as part of a federal government road safety initiative.

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