The E-Scooter has become omnipresent across Brisbane, the first Australian city to trial the public hire of the “personal mobility device” in 2018. Sadly, there have been plenty of serious accidents since. Over the last month alone, there was a fatality and two nasty accidents.

A 37-year-old man died after losing control of his e-scooter on Stanmere Street in Carindale. On Moreton Bay Road in Capalaba, a 24-year-old man was riding an e-scooter when he crashed into a car and another 24-year-old man was involved in a collision with an Uber car in South Brisbane on the corner of Melbourne and Edmonstone.

100 accidents per month, according to hospitals in Brisbane

In fact, the emergency departments of the city’s major hospitals reported that there have been 1,800 e-scooter incidents over the last 18 months. The data collected showed 63 per cent of injured riders were male with 39 per cent between the ages of 25 to 34. One in six riders in the accidents was not wearing a helmet.

On his 4BC radio show, Neil Breen interviewed Sergeant Duncan Hill of the North Brisbane Highway Patrol to discuss the new law coming in on 1 November 2022. Sergeant Hill also clarified that:

  • E-scooter riders must be at least 12 years old
  • Those between 12 to 16 years old need to be in the company of an adult or guardian BUT not on the same e-scooter
  • E-scooters can only be ridden on footpaths, bike paths, shared paths, or local roads that have a maximum speed limit of 50km/hour AND have no centre division or median strip
  • Riders must give way to pedestrians, must provide enough space for pedestrians on shared paths, must indicate when turning, and must not ride intoxicated.
New E-Scooter speed limit

New E-Scooter Speed limit

Sergeant Hill made the point that E-Scooters are classed as “personal mobility devices” and that it’s over 100 years since a new vehicle needed to be addressed separately in legislation. The new legislation will bring a maximum speed limit of 12 km/hour on shared paths and footpaths for e-scooters although the 25km/hour limit will remain on bike paths.

He also pointed out that some privately sold e-scooters had apparently been advertised with top speeds of 110km/hour though the e-scooters for hire around the city are all limited to 25km/hour.

He said that broken bones and smashed teeth were not uncommon, and data shows that wrist and facial injuries are most common in accidents involving e-scooters.