NSW says no to e-scooters – labels other State trials a disaster

NSW says no to e-scooters

NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance says that other State trials of e-scooters have been a disaster. As a result, NSW says no to e-scooters. A move that is unlikely to change, at least under the current government.

Andrew Constance is one of the more sensible, pensive, NSW State Government Liberal MPs. He knows more about e-scooters than most as a procession of lobbyists from Lime, Beam and Neuron have tried to twist his arm and wave big-dollar carrots at the State Government and Sydney City Council to implement trials. Constance said: “People getting killed, e-scooters left up trees, e-scooters littering parks and footpaths, people falling over them. The point is that I am not entertaining this.”

Pedestrian Council of Australia chairman Harold Scruby is leading the push for reforms and argued governments needed to “stop pretending e-scooters are safe”. He want to see scooters banned from footpaths and mandatory licenses and insurance policies for riders. So when NSW says no to e-scooters – it means it

What are the rules?

Let’s clarify what the rules mean. You can only use an e-scooter on private property, and only where it is not a danger to anyone else. As there is no public liability coverage, accidents with people or property are not covered. NSW legislation is here.

This means you cannot use e-scooters on bike paths, footpaths, malls, roads, or public places like car parks and parks. But ‘bloody’ e-scooter salespeople lie outright, adding, “It is a kind of [a] grey area, [police] won’t pull you over unless you’re being rash [sic].”

If you are hit by one of those scooters, the medical bills come out of your own pocket. You’re better off being hit by a car”

Harold Scruby

Well, police do pull you over! It is a well-publicised issue, especially if ridden on roads or malls. And the fines can be considerable as these devices are unregistered motorised vehicles and attract penalties as such.

Should e-scooters be legal?

We published two articles based on reviewing all the relevant State and Territory Road regulations. If you want to know the real state of the law, check out these articles:

We were subject to a tsunami of vitriol (venom) from e-scooter lobbyists and those with vested interests. Our response to these parties is regardless of paid and strictly limited trials; most State Road Laws are yet to be amended to make e-Scooters and other personal powered transport legal. The trials are in specific areas and work under very tight rules, including speed limiting and scooters will not work outside the approved GPS enforced area.

But there are cowboys (sorry, cowpeople) stretching the truth and selling e-scooters regardless of state laws. Many are non-compliant in terms of power ratings and capable of speeds far higher than is safe anywhere. Our opinion on the benefits or otherwise of e-scooters is immaterial. When and if they are legal, we look forward to reviewing them.

NSW says not to e-scooters
Images like this portray the wrong message – e-scooters are personal transport devices, not racers!

Lime suspends operations during COVID

Under Australian Consumer Law, businesses must report if a user has sustained an injury as a result of using their products. The ACCC stated that Lime, a global e-scooter and personal mobility provider, did not make such a report on ‘at least 50 occasions’ relating to injuries sustained while riding the second-generation scooters. Lime suspended its e-scooter operations in Australia in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the public health measures imposed by governments. Lime acknowledges that it did not meet its reporting obligations. “We are a young company and while we don’t always get it right, we learn fast”.

  1. Escooters should be treated exactly like bicycles. Arguing they are motorcycles doesn’t make sense. They are just looking for reasons not to a approve. They should be looking at how to integrate the. The rules that apply to bicycles and ebicycles are suitable and satisfactory. Rules/laws include an r e they can be used. They have similar mass, similar visibility (silhouette lights and bright paint) and the motors are speed limited.

  2. Looks like it is time to change the government. I am no longer in the mood for the current government. Bring on the next election.

  3. Ray, while I agree with the decision on e-scooters, I largely agree with Stephen Coulter’s assessment of the transport minister (or possibly his department, but the buck stops with the boss.) The bullying in over evicting people for a parking lot in Jannali, the fiasco over removing buses in a poorly sited metro station at Cherrybrook with inadequate parking built, the introduction of 12 hours/day, 7days a week clearways on roads that are only really busy in normal peak hours and not on weekends where the busier roads they feed into are only zoned for peak hours… the list goes on. He and Barilaro are the prima donnas of the NSW government, and I would have been happy if they had both left NSW parliament to fight over the federal electorate and both been defeated. Win-win on all fronts.

  4. Unfortunately Ray you are totally incorrect stating “Andrew Constance is one of the more sensible, pensive, NSW State Government Liberal MPs.

    He is one of the most uninformed, moody and erratic members of NSW Parliament. His epic and disastrous attempt at switching to Canberra is a recent example. His stupid decisions on the Manly Ferry are another classic example of his incompetence. Add to that his “Ferry McFerry Face” farce and his transport-related land transactions – you have the most incompetent transport minister in Australia – possibly ever.

    His mood swings and temper are well known

    1. Forgive my Queensland heritage (they have their fair share of ratbags in parliament too). I am happy to approve the comment on the basis that I can’t comment. But I do think he did a great job over bushfires and in transport.

  5. “Under Australian Consumer Law, businesses must report if a user has sustained an injury as a result of using their products.”
    Really – car companies really do that, every day?

    1. Australian Consumer Law is very strict. Unfortunately it does not specifically relate to registered motor vehicles where systems like police reports for accidents and death and VIN number tracking for repairs/write-offs etc., operate. The adage applies, “The most dangerous thing in a car is the ‘nut’ that holds the wheel.” I suspect that is entirely true of any motorised personal transport vehicle.
      On a personal note I support the sensible regulated use of motorised personal transport (and whatever that may entail like 3rd-party insurance, training, licence etc. If they want to use roads and public places then they have to act accordingly. These trials are purely to make money from an emerging new serivce. They don’t enforce responsible use, just line the state and local governments pockets and lobby for road rule changes.

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