Victoria’s experiment with e-scooters has been extended another six months and will now include privately owned vehicles and addition to the hire schemes in Melbourne and Ballarat.
The trial, which began in December 2021, has seen hire schemes operate with the approval of local councils in Ballarat, Yarra, Port Philip and Melbourne. The extension came into effect on 5 April.
While e-scooter hire schemes continue to expand in Australian cities, some international cities with more extensive experience are now cutting back or eliminating them.
Paris has recently voted to ban hire scheme e-scooters from its streets due to problems with parking and unsafe use, after initially trying reduced numbers and tougher regulations to bring them under control.
In announcing the extended Victorian trial, Roads and Road Safety Minister Melissa Horne said the government was taking steps to ensure the community used e-scooters in a responsible way during the trial extension. The following rules will apply:
- Riders must wear a helmet, be at least 16 years of age and adhere to the same blood alcohol content (BAC) and drug use restrictions as drivers. Riders cannot consume alcohol while travelling on an e-scooter.
- E-scooters can only be used on roads with a speed limit of 60kmh or less. They can be ridden on roads, in bicycle lanes, on bicycle paths or separated and shared paths – but not on footpaths.
- E-scooters cannot travel above 20kmh.
- Devices capable of exceeding 25kmh per hour are not classified as e-scooters and are still illegal.
E-scooter riders must also not carry passengers, ride two abreast, use a mobile phone or lead an animal on their e-scooter.
Minister Horne says Victoria Police will enforce the safe use of e-scooters.
Further work will be carried out throughout the trial extension to understand product safety standards, rider education and whether changes to penalties are required.
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