Victoria Police will set its sights on e-scooter riders and ramp up enforcement efforts during the spring and summer months in an effort to improve safety for all road users.
It comes as e-scooter usage is expected to rise as the weather improves and an increasing number of social events bring visitors back into the CBD.
Police will focus on educating riders on the rules for privately-owned e-scooters, as well as the trial e-scooters currently being operated under the Department of Transport’s e-scooter trial, with fines to be issued for non-compliance.
Trial e-scooter operators Lime and Neuron will also support police efforts, increasing their numbers of ambassadors that will be out engaging and educating riders on how to safely use their trial e-scooters.
There are strict rules in place for the trial e-scooters, with Lime and Neuron’s bright green and orange e-scooters featuring pre-set speed limits and parameters to ensure they can only be ridden in trial areas of Melbourne’s CBD, the City of Yarra, Port Phillip and Ballarat.
Police are urging all riders to ensure they understand and comply with the e-scooter trial rules, which include not riding on the footpath, always wearing a helmet, only one person riding on the e-scooter, and only riding if you are over 18 years old.
Road Policing Command Superintendent, Justin Goldsmith said, “
“Victoria Police will be increasing its focus on e-scooter riders coming into spring and summer – if you’re using an e-scooter, you should expect to be intercepted and spoken to by police.
“We acknowledge there remains some confusion amongst the community around the rules when it comes to trial e-scooters and privately-owned e-scooters. The onus is on riders to ensure they understand and comply with the rules before getting on an e-scooter.
“Education is always our preference, but we won’t hesitate to issue infringements for non-compliance and blatant disregard for the rules – particularly if it involves putting other road users’ safety at risk”.
On the spot fines of $185 or more can be issued for non-compliance with trial e-scooter rules.
Police will also be cracking down on privately-owned e-scooter usage, with current legislation deeming any non-trial e-scooter that can travel over 10km/h or over 200 watts to be illegal, meaning they cannot be ridden on any public roads, bike lanes or footpaths in Victoria.
High-powered e-scooters are considered a motor vehicle and riders can attract a $925 fine for using an unregistered vehicle, with e-scooters currently unable to be registered and ridden legally on roads.
Police are warning riders to be aware that drink and drug driving penalties that apply to motorists also apply to e-scooter users who are detected over 0.05 – meaning you can lose your driver’s licence if you are caught over the limit on an e-scooter.
Between 1 December 2021 and 31 August 2022, police have issued 487 e-scooter infringements, with majority for failing to wear a helmet, riding e-scooters on the footpath, and carrying more than one person on an e-scooter.