What do I need to know about scooter laws in Queensland? How do I avoid a hefty fine?
The meteoric rise in popularity of personal electric scooters in Queensland has taken us by storm. It seems impossible to walk through the Brisbane CBD without encountering a gaggle of bearded hipsters riding scooters. The law has struggled to keep pace with this sudden rise in popularity, and in December 2018, the Transport Operations (Road Use Management – Road Rules) (Personal Mobility Devices) Amendment Regulation 2018 (Qld) was brought into force to amend the current road rules in Queensland.
To help you get a better understanding of the laws that apply to scooter riders and avoid a fine, we have condensed the legislation into some basic, general information below.
A scooter is defined under the law as a ‘personal mobility device’ (PMD). This definition captures any vehicle which has one or more wheels, and can reach no more than 25km/h. They can have a maximum weight of 60kg (without the rider), and be designed for a single-person only.
A person riding a scooter or PMD has some responsibilities under the law. If you disobey any of these, you can be fined over $130! Many people have been stung with a fine, and you should make sure you comply!
- Anyone using a scooter or PMD must wear a helmet. The only exceptions to this are if you have a medical certificate with you, stating that you cannot wear a helmet for medical reasons, or if you are wearing a religious headdress that prevents a helmet being worn. Wear one to avoid a fine!
- You must be over 16 years old to ride a PMD. Children over 12 may ride, if they are being supervised by an adult (adults merely acting like children on scooters might have other worries!)
- You must not exceed a speed 25km/h while riding the PMD. You may need to be particularly mindful of this limit when travelling downhill!
- You can’t carry another person on a scooter or PMD – they are limited to one person only.
- If you are riding at night, the scooter or PMD must be fitted with a white light at the front and a red light at the rear, visible from over 200 metres.
- You must not drink liquor while using a scooter or PMD!
- You may not be towed by any vehicle, grab hold of any vehicle while travelling, or travel within 2 metres of the rear of a moving vehicle for over 200m. (I’m looking at you, Marty McFly!)
- You must not use a mobile phone while riding! (not even for selfies!!)
- You must obey any signs prohibiting personal mobility devices (including scooters) in any area. They look like this:
Travelling on Roads:
- You must not travel on a road with a speed limit of more than 50km/h, or a road with a dividing line or median strip. This means you cannot ride on roads in the Brisbane CBD!
- You must not travel on a one-way street with more than one lane.
- However, you may travel on any of the above roads if there is an obstruction on the footpath beside the road, nature strip, bike path or shared path. If this is the case, you can travel on the road for up to 50 metres.
- If you do travel on any road, you are required to keep as far to the left-hand side as you can, and you must not travel alongside more than one pedestrian or vehicle travelling in the same direction (unless you are overtaking them).
Travelling on Footpaths:
- You must give way to pedestrians! Pedestrians have right-of-way over scooters, and you must allow pedestrians safe access and not impede their path.
- You must travel a safe distance from pedestrians, so don’t get too close when passing. Always consider that pedestrians could change their direction at any time, and the responsibility is on the rider to travel at a safe distance and speed so you can avoid collision with the pedestrian.
- You must keep left of oncoming bicycles.
- When riding on a footpath, you must travel as near to the left-hand side as practicable.