‘Like driving 150’: Crackdown on e-scooter ‘cowboys’

The Australian
Monday June 13 2022

Queensland has announced a major electric scooter crackdown as speed limits are halved and warning devices made mandatory.

The tough changes, which were flagged in February, include halving the 25km/h speed limit on footpaths to just 12km/h, and regulating privately owned scooters with warning bells.

In a press conference on Sunday, Transport Minister Mark Bailey said the changes, which will come into effect from November 1, followed widespread community safety concerns.

“We still see some private scooters out there doing well over 25km/h – I‘ve seen it myself, they might be doing 45 to 50(km/h).” he said.

“That’s the equivalent of someone driving a car 150(km/h) – it’s not what is safe for other road users.”

Mr Bailey said there would be increased penalties for people who rode at excessive speeds or committed “high-risk” offences such as using a mobile phone or riding on prohibited roads.

“You know if you hit a pedestrian at 45 kilometres an hour, it is a very dire situation,” he said.

“Because we’ve seen unfortunately, like on our roadways, that there’s a few cowboys out there as well who are willing to put other people’s safety at risk. And that’s just not acceptable.”

Queenslanders with Disability Network chief executive Paige Armstrong said people with vision impairment and disability had been knocked over by scooters flying past them at 25km/h and forced to go around scooters left in the middle of the footpath.

“While we understand that this is a wave of transport going forward, especially as we move towards the future Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2032, our members have been raising issues that they’ve been challenged by scooters that are left lying around on footpaths or on areas of road,” she said.

“This is causing a problem for them and our hospitals so we ask, if you are drinking, just like driving, you don’t drive.” he said.

“We will be going out over the next coming weeks and months to do enforcement operations to educate and enforce these new rules and to ensure that they are embedded as quickly as possible,”

Mr Bailey said: “It’s just a matter of time” before people who think they are flying below the radar get caught.”

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