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Road rules

E-Scooter trial laws and road rules

E-scooter trial safety rules

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, local councils have suspended e-scooter trials in Adelaide and North Adelaide, and along the coast effective from Sunday 29 March 2020. Please refer to participating councils’ websites for any updates and further information.

E-scooters (electric scooters) have become popular in many cities around the world and offer a sustainable alternative transport option for short journeys.

Two e-scooter trials have been approved in South Australia. These trials are within Adelaide and North Adelaide, and along the Coastal Park Trail.

Councils permitting e-scooter use will monitor and evaluate the outcomes of their respective trials. Any further consideration of e-scooter use in South Australia will be considered pending the outcomes of these trials.

Adelaide and North Adelaide trial

From 1 February 2020, the Adelaide CBD trial area of e-scooters was expanded to include the Adelaide CBD and North Adelaide as shown in the map below.

Find all information about the trial on the City of Adelaide website.

A map of the trial area showing it is limited to an area of the City of Adelaide, including the CBD and North Adelaide

Users should note that additional restricted areas of use may be applicable, including North Adelaide golf courses, The Adelaide Botanic Garden and The Adelaide Zoo. Restricted areas may also appear on event days at and around the Adelaide Oval and for other major events. For further information about restricted areas or ‘go slow’ areas, please visit the City of Adelaide or contact the two currently permitted operators.

Trial along the Coastal Park Trail

A six month e-scooter trial has been approved for parts of the Coastal Park Trail, starting Friday 13 March 2020.

The 25km trial path will be split into northern and southern sections, as per the maps below, with e-scooters not permitted between Recreation Parade, Semaphore Park and Terminus Street, Grange.

The councils participating in this trial are the city councils of Port Adelaide Enfield, Charles Sturt, West Torrens and Holdfast Bay. More information can be found on their websites.

Northern sectionSouthern section

Map showing the northern section of the e-scooter coastal trial

Map showing the southern section of the e-scooter coastal trial

E-scooters will be available between 6am and 9pm daily (6am to 6pm during winter), and must be parked in designated parking zones before the trip can be ended.

Additional area and speed restrictions will apply. Please take note of instructions along the paths and ride with caution.

E-scooter laws and road rules

The only e-scooters allowed to be used in the trial areas are those operating subject to a business permit issued by the relevant local city council. For more information about each trial, please refer to above detail.

Riders:

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must wear an approved bike helmet that is securely fitted
  • May ride on footpaths and shared paths unless otherwise prohibited
  • May ride on a road only when crossing or to avoid an obstruction for up to 50m. If road travel is required, riders:
    • Must travel less than 50m along the road to avoid the obstruction;
    • Must keep as far to the left as possible; and
    • Must obey any traffic signals.
  • Must NOT ride on a road:
    • with a dividing line or median strip, or
    • where the speed limit is 50 km/h or more
    • which is one-way with more than 1 marked lane
    • if otherwise prohibited
  • Must not ride in a bike lane or bus lane
  • Must use a warning (e.g. bell, horn or verbal) to avert danger
  • Must have proper control at all times and ride with due care and reasonable consideration for other persons
  • Must use a flashing or steady white light at the front and a flashing red light and reflector at the back of the device when riding at night or in hazardous conditions
  • Must not exceed 15km/h or a lesser speed if required in the circumstances to stop safely to avert danger
  • Must not ride abreast
  • Must not carry passengers
  • Must not have a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of 0.05 or more or the presence of THC (Cannabis), Methylamphetamine (Speed) or MDMA (Ecstasy) in their blood or oral saliva
  • Must not use a mobile phone whilst riding
  • Must not carry scooters on public transport
  • Must park e-scooters used along the Coastal Park Trail in designated parking zones before the trip can be ended
Example of offences that may apply*Expiation*Max Penalty
Riding at speed exceeding 15km/h $183 $2500
Failure to wear a helmet $109 $2500
Riding without due care or attention $109 $2500
Failure to maintain proper control $109 $2500
Carrying, being carried as, a passenger $109 $2500
Riding abreast of another scooter or skateboard $60 $2500
Failing to warn a pedestrian with a bell, horn or other warning device $60 $2500
Riding at night without lights $60 $2500
Riding on a road with a dividing line or >50km/h $60 $2500
Riding on a road with 2 or more marked lanes $398 $2500
Riding under age 18 $315 $2500

* An additional $60 Victims of Crime Levy applies. Other road rules and laws may apply.

Severe penalties apply to drivers who commit drink and drug driving offences in South Australia. Penalties may include fines, licence disqualification, demerit points and even imprisonment in some cases. More information on road rules, offences and penalties.

More information

What is an e-scooter?

An e-scooter is a two-wheeled device powered by an electric motor and battery pack. E-scooters must have a braking system and warning device and lights must be used if ridden at night. They are lightweight and designed for use by one person only, standing up.

For the purposes of this trial the devices are being defined in South Australian regulations as Electric Personal Transporters. E-scooters do not include: motorised wheelchairs and mobility scooters (Gophers) typically used by people with mobility difficulties; moped scooters with internal combustion engines; electric bicycles and Pedelecs; kick scooters.

Do I need a driver’s licence?

You do not need a driver’s licence or learner's permit to participate in these trials, which are limited to the Adelaide CBD and North Adelaide, and Coastal Park Trail. Note that some road rules and laws may impose penalties on a driver’s licence or learner’s permit including demerit points, licence disqualification.

Can I ride my own e-scooter?

You can only ride your privately owned e-scooter on private property - not on roads, footpaths or other public spaces. Otherwise, you may use the e-scooters owned by the operators permitted in each trial, as per applicable rules and restrictions.

If you are caught riding an e-scooter not approved for this trial you may be fined for driving an unregistered and uninsured motor vehicle $1232. Click here for more information

What will happen after the trial?

The relevant local city councils participating in each of the trials will monitor and evaluate the trials. Any further consideration of expanding use outside of the current trials will be considered pending outcomes.

For information about the monitoring and evaluation of the Adelaide and North Adelaide trial please visit the City of Adelaide website. For information about the monitoring and evaluation of the Coastal Park Trail trial please visit participating councils’ websites.

What happens if there is a crash involving an e-scooter involved in the trial?

The rider must give all possible assistance to anyone injured and report the incident to Police.

If you are involved in a collision while riding an e-scooter, you should contact the operator. Find Adelaide and North Adelaide operator information on the City of Adelaide website. Find Coastal Park Trail operator information on participating councils’ websites. The permitted operators are required to hold public liability insurance.

If you are involved in a collision between a car and an electric scooter you may be covered by the CTP insurance associated with the vehicle if the vehicle is at fault. For more information call the CTP Regulator on 1300 303 558 or visit www.ctp.sa.gov.au.

It is an offence to ride a privately owned e-scooter or one owned by an operator without a permit.

Can I take an e-scooter on public transport?

E-scooters are not allowed on buses, trams or trains. E-scooters are not to be taken outside the trial areas.

What are the benefits of these types of vehicles?

E-scooters can be a low cost, attractive and convenient travel option for people wanting minimal exertion. They are compact and portable, taking up less parking or storage space than a bike. Other potential benefits may include increased travel independence for users; an alternative to the motor vehicle for greater mobility choice; environmental benefits such as reduced pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and reduced noise.

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