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Victoria Lifts Ban on Private E-scooters for Trial

Victoria has lifted the ban from using private electric scooters since April 5 in light of the six-month e-scooter trial extension in the cities of Melbourne, Yarra, Port Phillip, and Ballarat.

Riders with personal e-scooters may now legally ride on bike lanes, shared paths, and permitted roads with a speed limit of 60 kph. However, riding on footpaths is still illegal.

Also, private and shared e-scooters can only go at a top speed of 20 kph in public.

According to Victoria’s updated safety and road rules, riders may legally ride their private e-scooter units if they meet the following rules:

  • Rides on shared paths and roads with a 60 kph speed limit
  • Rides a top speed of 20 kph
  • Aged over 16 years old
  • Wears a helmet
  • Not under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Not using a mobile phone or carrying a passenger
  • Not using a high-speed e-scooter that can ride over 25 kph (considered as an unregistered vehicle)
  • Never rides on footpaths

Moreover, the Victorian Government reminds users to keep safe on the road by:

  • Not carrying animals or passengers
  • Having control at all times and riding responsibly
  • Using a bell, horn, or verbal warning to avoid danger
  • Not riding side-by-side with other electric mobility devices
  • Giving way to pedestrians
  • Not leading or tethering an animal to an e-scooter

Victoria Police will continue to enforce these rules to ensure the riders’ and pedestrians’ safety.

The government will review regulations again after the six-month e-scooter trial.

Results of the Previous Victoria Electric Scooter Trial

Electric scooter trials in Victoria began in December 2021 in Ballarat and were implemented in Melbourne, Port Phillip, and Yarra last February 2022.

The RACV reported that the first 17 weeks of the trial resulted in more than one million journeys, and within 12 months, it increased to 2.8 million rides.

After the recent trial, the Victorian Government stated that they saw the popularity of e-scooters due to their high demand from locals. They also better understood how e-scooters operate in Victoria after communities and stakeholders tried them first-hand.

According to the government’s data, the trial recorded almost four million rides, and incident rates were lower, unlike other e-scooter trials in Australia.

However, despite having significant data, the government wants to ensure that e-scooters are safe to integrate into the transportation system in the long run.

The e-scooter trial also highlighted various safety concerns, including riding on footpaths, high-speed riding, poor parking practices, carrying a passenger, not wearing a helmet, and riding under the influence.

These poor rider behaviours increased the safety risks on the road and for pedestrians. Moreover, the trial found that private e-scooters are the main cause of these incidents.

Extending the trial and including private e-scooters will provide legislators with additional data for improving future regulations.

Benefits of Electric Scooters

The following are common reasons advocates push for e-scooters.

A Solution to Transportation Gaps

Joint research by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the University of St. Gallen surveyed over 11,000 consumers in 23 cities in 10 countries, including the US, France, the Netherlands, Japan, and China, regarding micro mobility.

The survey found that 55% of respondents use micro mobility devices instead of walking and public transportation.

This result may stem from the long-proposed idea that micro mobility devices, especially e-scooters, fill the gaps in transport systems. Specifically, e-scooters deal with the first-mile and last-mile gap.

In an article, Dr. Lee Roberts, a transport researcher at the UNSW City Futures Research, mentions that e-scooters suit shorter commutes and can help address the challenges of getting around cities.

If properly integrated into the transportation system, research shows that e-scooters have substituting and complementary effects on public transportation and bike sharing. 


Affordable Transport Alternative

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average passenger vehicle in Australia travels 11,100 km annually and needs 1,232 litres of fuel. With today’s fuel prices, car owners spend around $2,700 for fuel annually, not including other costs such as repairs and insurance.

Shared and private electric scooters provide a cheaper alternative to a car, especially due to gas price hikes.

For example, Lime and Neuron charge a dollar as a base fee and bill 45 cents per minute. So a 15-minute ride only costs $7 to $8.

Meanwhile, private e-scooter models cost around $500 to $2,000 and have minimal maintenance costs, making them a cheaper car alternative.


More cities globally turn to e-scooters and other electric micro mobility devices to curb pollution and environmental challenges in urban areas.

A study by e-scooter ride-share company Lime found that Paris reduced CO2 emissions by 330 metric tons within a year after advocating for e-scooters. 

Since e-scooters have zero emissions, they help reduce air pollution. Plus, if more commuters choose to ride e-scooters than cars, their compact sizes can help reduce road congestion.

Meanwhile, although e-scooters generally have a shorter lifespan than cars, some parts are recyclable. Most e-scooters use aluminium alloy, a highly recyclable material that can be melted and recycled, reducing trash in landfills.

Challenges of Electric Scooters

Despite its perks, below are some risks and challenges e-scooter riders and pedestrians experience. 

Safety Risks

Riding e-scooters still pose a safety concern for riders, pedestrians, and communities.

The Jamieson Trauma Institute records 952 e-scooter incidents in emergency departments in Brisbane within three years, with fractures and abrasions to the face and head as common injuries.

Professor Kirsten Vallmuur from the Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation supports this data, saying 92% of ePMD-related incidents in emergency departments are from e-scooters.

Despite current regulations, accidents are still inevitable, making it challenging for legislators to integrate e-scooters into the transport network.

Lack of E-scooter-friendly Areas

Restricting riders to a speed limit of 20 kph speed limit and geo-fencing to stop riders from going to certain zones helped manage e-scooters.

However, RACV mobility general manager Julia Hunter tells ABC that structural changes in the roads and bike lanes are necessary to keep riders, pedestrians, and other vehicles safe.

Moreover, Hugo Bort-Morris, Lime Australia’s general manager, mentions that illegal rider behaviours stemmed from Melbourne’s unsafe roads and the lack of appropriate bike lanes and designated parking spaces.

If cities incorporate micro mobility devices into their transportation system, they must have proper infrastructure and facilities to accommodate and protect users.

Rider Behaviour

The Victorian government points out the poor riding practices e-scooter users commit, resulting in various safety risks on the road.

Because of various accidents and poor rider behaviour, Victoria Police are focusing more on e-scooter riders to enforce the safety rules better. Riders caught disobeying the trial’s e-scooter laws receive a $185 or more fine.

Moreover, being caught riding a high-powered e-scooter (over 25 kph speed limit) in public can cost a $925 fine since it’s an unregistered vehicle.

In an article, Road Policing Command Superintendent Justin Goldsmith mentions that they always prefer rider education. Still, they won’t hesitate to reprimand riders who blatantly disregard the law and put others at risk.

Australia’s Future of Sustainable Transportation

Electric scooters have become popular since shared e-scooters launched in Brisbane in late 2018. However, legislators have yet to finalise regulation and legalise e-scooters nationwide.

So far, Queensland, Western Australia, the ACT, and Tasmania have been the only states offering e-scooter-friendly laws for shared and private e-scooters.

Despite safety concerns, e-scooters continue to become a popular way for Australians to get around, suggesting public demand for micro mobility devices.

However, legislators and communities must address safety risks, proper facilities and lanes, and rider behaviour to integrate e-scooters smoothly into the transport network.

We at EleKtro support safe and sustainable transportation in Australia. As the country navigates the challenges of establishing micro mobile transport, we want to make a difference by developing premium, safe, and innovative e-scooters. Ultimately, we aim to make high-quality e-scooters accessible and available to everyone.
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