THE Queensland Government has announced a host of reforms to improve the regulation of e-scooter.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the Personal Mobility Device Safety Action Plan – developed in consultation with the Government’s Personal Mobility Device Safety Reference Group – details short, medium and long term goals.
“It’s hard to miss how successful the uptake of e-scooters has been here in Queensland,” Mr Bailey said.
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“E-scooters are an emerging form of transport and they aren’t going anywhere.
“That’s why it’s important we have a plan on how we improve safety for e-scooter riders and for those who use our cycleways, footpaths and roads,” he said.
E-scooters have gained momentum on the Fraser Coast, with a six-month trial of a commercial e-scooter service launched in Hervey Bay last year.
However, public opinion on e-scooters is often divided.
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Some believe they offer a new, quick and easy form of transport around town, while others don’t want the devices in public – claiming they’re unsafe.
Mr Bailey said short term reforms would include speed limits on some footpaths, mandating warning devices (like bells), enforcement of non-complying devices, increased penalties for high-risk offences and clearer signage.
“This package of regulations will be delivered by the end of the year,” he said.
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Medium term goals include an improved parking plan and the rollout of the signage in specific areas over the next year.
Mr Bailey said finding a solution for parking that could be adopted by councils across Queensland was critical.
Long term plans include building better active transport infrastructure, developing important rules with the Federal Government and ongoing engagement with stakeholders.
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“The plan strikes the right balance and acknowledges that this technology is here to stay, but we need to continue to adapt the framework that supports these devices to ensure everyone’s safety, particularly people with disabilities,” Mr Bailey continued.
“Through stakeholder engagement, it was identified that the location of parking and speeds were the biggest issues for the community.
“The action plan aims to develop a simple and effective parking scheme to ensure our footpaths are safe for everyone, without barriers.
“We’ll also be increasing the penalties for high-risk offences to ensure e-scooter riders are aware of the consequences of unsafe riding.
“This will include speeding, using a mobile phone while riding and riding on prohibited roads.”
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Mr Bailey said penalties followed the announcement of 12 km/h speed limits on footpaths.
“Earlier this year we announced that speeds would be halved to 12 kilometres per hour on footpaths which was a really important step in reducing dangerous, high-speed interactions between pedestrians and riders,” he said.
“This was a quick win and pushes us in the right direction to support our transition to larger regulatory reform.”
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Mr Bailey said Queensland Police were supporting the reforms through behaviour blitzes to ensure e-scooter riders are complying with rules and regulation.
“The blitzes aim to crack down on people riding in a dangerous manner, which might mean speeding, using a mobile phone, carrying passengers or not wearing a helmet,” he said.
The Minister urged people to do the right thing at all times and not just when authorities are present.
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