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New Rules and Penalties for Personal Mobility Devices in Queensland

By 18 June 2024News & Articles
New Rules and Penalties for Personal Mobility Devices in Queensland

A brief walk around any city or town will quickly make it clear how popular e-scooters, e-skateboards, e-bikes and other personal mobility devices have become on our streets.

As a pedestrian, you may also have had a near miss with someone riding one of these devices travelling on paths or close to the edge of the road at high velocity. In fact, there have been 10 fatalities since 2018 and almost 1,000 presentations to emergency departments in central Brisbane between November 2018 and May 2021 as a result of accidents and collisions with personal mobility devices.

These tragedies saw road and pedestrian safety campaigners ramp up efforts to force the law to catch up with the rapid spread of the devices. New laws governing the use of e-scooters were introduced in November 2022 to bring riders into line with the rules applying to cyclists. These rules restricted riders to travelling at 12 km/h on footpaths and shared paths (unless signed otherwise) and 25 km/h for all other bike paths and roads. Riders were also required to follow general road rules, such as stopping at red lights. Increased fines were also introduced.

Since then more changes have occurred governing personal mobility devices, which we’ll detail in this article.

More detail on personal mobility device laws

Late in 2023, updated legislation was introduced in the Queensland parliament making it an offence for the rider of a personal mobility device such as an e-scooter to ride without due care and attention on a road-related area, such as a footpath, bike path or shared path. New fines up to $1,161 were also introduced for dangerous offences involving speed, illegal road use and holding a mobile phone while riding.

Age restrictions apply to riding an e-scooter in Queensland. Riders must be at least 16 years old or at least 12 years and supervised by an adult while riding the device. Children under 12 are not permitted to ride an e-scooter.

E-scooters must also:

  • be designed for use by one person only;
  • meet certain length and height dimensions;
  • have a maximum weight of 60kg (when not carrying a person or load);
  • be powered by an electric motor, and;
  • have one or more wheels.

Speed limits: Personal mobility devices such as e-scooters and e-skateboards are subject to new speed limits for the safety of riders and pedestrians. On footpaths and shared paths (unless signed otherwise) the limit is now 12km/h, and on separated footpaths and bicycle paths (unless signed otherwise), not more than 25km/h. Certain areas – high-pedestrian traffic zones or specific locations where the use of personal mobility devices poses safety risks – may be designated as no-go zones for personal mobility devices.

Personal mobility devices may also be ridden on some bike lanes on roads and local streets at 25km/h where there is a speed limit of 50km/h or less.

Queensland law also makes it mandatory for riders to wear an Australian Standard (AS) approved bicycle helmet or an approved motorbike helmet when aboard a personal mobility device in public spaces, unless you have a medical certificate authorising you not to wear a helmet for medical reasons or because of a physical characteristic that makes it unreasonable for you to wear one.

It’s illegal to ride one of these devices while holding a mobile phone in your hand or resting it on any part of your body, and the phone does not need to be turned on for this act to be an offence.

All personal mobility devices must be equipped with an effective stopping system controlled by using brakes, gears or motor control. They must also have a working bell, horn or a similar warning device, and devices must not be operated with any sharp protrusions. Riding at night requires a white light (flashing or steady) at the front and a red light (flashing or steady) at the back, both of which must be capable of being clearly seen at least 200m away.

It’s illegal to carry another person while riding a personal mobility device, including a child. As part of ensuring riders follow general road rules observed by motorists and cyclists, operating a device under the influence of alcohol or drugs is strictly prohibited.

Penalties for breaching the new rules

Fines have increased for offences against the current suite of rules around use of personal mobility devices in a clear move to deter risky and reckless behaviour that has previously caused deaths as a result of collisions.

The most common offences and the relevant fines are:

  • Speeding – up to $619;
  • Not wearing a helmet – up to $154;
  • Riding with another person on board – up to $154;
  • Riding on a prohibited road – up to $185;
  • Using a mobile phone while riding – up to $1,161.

Check with our professional team for more details

The rules have changed and the fines have increased for the use and misuse of personal mobility devices in Queensland, reflecting increasing concern about dangerous and reckless acts which have sadly caused death and injury.
The changes are unlikely to deter the continued growth of personal mobility devices, however, given the convenience and affordability they offer. If any of the detail raised in this article is unclear or you need more information, or have been involved in an incident involving a personal mobility device, contact our experienced team at GC Law today to discuss your issue.

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