Scooting up a notch on reforms

Published Sunday, 12 June, 2022 at 12:04 PM

Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Bailey

Safety reforms are now mapped out as the Palaszczuk Government continues to improve the regulation of e-scooters.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey today released the Personal Mobility Device Safety Action Plan.

“It’s hard to miss how successful the uptake of e-scooters has been here in Queensland, from the Coast up to Cairns,” Mr Bailey said.

“E-scooters are an emerging form of transport, and they aren’t going anywhere – if anything, their use continues to gain popularity with those who want to leave the car a home or connect with public transport.

“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.”

Mr Bailey said the action plan, developed in consultation with the Government’s Personal Mobility Device Safety Reference Group and details short, medium and long term goals.

“In the short term, we will be delivering a package of regulation changes, including speed limits on some footpaths, mandating warning devices (like bells), enforcement of non-complying devices, increased penalties for high-risk offences, and clearer signage,” he said.

“This package of regulations will be delivered by the end of the year.

“In the medium term, we want to finalise an improved parking plan, produced by the working group, which has already met multiple times, and rollout the signage in specific areas, which will be done over the next year.

“Getting a solution on parking is critical and that’s why we created a working group with pedestrian and disability advocates shared scheme providers and local government representatives to work on e-scooter parking solutions for pathways around the inner-city.

“This parking plan can then be adopted by councils across Queensland.

“In the long term, we want to build better active transport infrastructure, develop import rules with the federal government, and continue working with stakeholders.

“All of which will help deliver safer outcomes for everyone when it comes to e-scooters.”

Mr Bailey said e-scooter symbols had already been rolled out on the Veloway and a combined government and industry stakeholder reference group had been established.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

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.”

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.

“They will be focusing on the urban areas of Brisbane where e-scooter use is particularly high, so I ask everyone do the right thing – not just when Police are around, but every time you get behind the handlebars.”

The proposed changes come after the Palaszczuk Government hosted a round table discussion on personal mobility device safety in November last year (2021).

Mr Bailey said the conversations thus far had been incredibly productive, with all stakeholders in agreement about the steps necessary to improve e-scooter safety in Queensland.

"It was very encouraging to see the willingness from stakeholders to be involved in this process and we know they're going to play an important role in getting a lot of these actions over the line,” he said.

“We've listened to the issues that are being raised in these conversations and the action plan represents a comprehensive approach to address them."

For more information about e-scooter use in Queensland and to view the action plan please visit the Queensland Government website.