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E-Scooter Safety Enhancement Measures Underway

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The Victorian Government is extending the ongoing e-scooter trial by an additional six months to further assess safety and compliance enhancements before the implementation of permanent regulatory frameworks aimed at improving e-scooter safety for all users later this year.

During the trial, which has been under close observation, Victorians, notably shift workers, have significantly adopted e-scooters as a convenient transportation option. The trial has recorded over eight million trips, indicating a high level of participation in the public hire share scheme globally.

Initial findings from the trial suggest that while the majority of e-scooter users are adhering to regulations, there is a need for extended time to enhance compliance and safety measures, along with bolstering riders’ understanding of the rules.

Minister for Public and Active Transport, Gabrielle Williams, emphasised the permanence of e-scooters in the urban commute, “E-scooters are here to stay – they’ve proven popular among commuters, especially shift workers, providing an additional option to travel home safely.”

In light of these findings, additional strategies are being explored to enhance the awareness and adherence to e-scooter regulations among riders and other road users. The existing trial conditions will be maintained during this period.

Part of these efforts includes the launch of an updated educational campaign across the trial regions. This campaign will emphasise the importance of safe riding practices, the mandatory use of helmets, and proper e-scooter parking etiquette.

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Williams also acknowledged the ongoing efforts to improve e-scooter use, “We have more work to do on safety and compliance to ensure that e-scooters are safe when they’re made permanent later this year.”

Riders are reminded of the importance of not riding on footpaths, the requirement to wear helmets at all times, the age restriction of 16 years for riders, prohibitions against carrying passengers and riding under the influence of alcohol, and the speed and road restrictions for e-scooters.

Survey responses from users have indicated that approximately 28% of e-scooter journeys in metropolitan areas and up to 40% in Ballarat have substituted for car or rideshare vehicle trips, suggesting a potential reduction in traffic congestion and environmental impact.

The legality of share hire e-scooters is confined to municipalities that have entered into agreements with service providers.

The government commits to assisting councils interested in initiating share hire schemes by creating a guide that offers best practice recommendations for managing these schemes effectively, including advice on parking and insurance requirements for operators.

The trial is now scheduled to conclude on October 4.

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