In recent years, electric scooters, e-skateboards, self-balancing wheels and hover boards have grown in popularity worldwide due to their affordability and low carbon emissions.
However, statistics in WA show a slower take-up, and local advocates say current laws are too restrictive.
Only motorised scooters are regulated across WA and are limited to:
- No night riding
- Max travel speed of 10km/h
- Power output of 200W max
- Only allowed on travel roads that have a speed limit of less than 50km/h
The Road Safety Commission released a survey earlier this year to the general public, seeking community feedback around a proposed E-Rideable framework.
Earlier this week, the second community consultation was released to begin developing regulations for this device, and E-Rider-enthusiasts are contributing to the conversation.
Guan Cheng has been riding his e-scooter since early this year, and says WA road rules need to catch up to new-age transport.
“I’m already seeing so many people ride them, and I definitely think it’s time we lift these restrictions,” he says.
“They are so convenient and environmentally friendly, but they are also fun.
“I feel like if someone hops on these scooters, and gives it a try – you can’t not fall in love with them.”
Co-owner of Scootamore WA Jacob Pszczola says these transport devices are making waves in WA, but there are still underlying issues that are being forgotten when riding.
“I understand having the current restrictions in place for rental companies where the people using them are not familiar with their function, but if you own one, there should be less limitations,” he says.
Mr Pszczola says they are trying to ask the government to bring back Constable Care, to help encourage safer riding from an early age.
“The local policeman use to come out to your school and taught us how to ride a bicycle on the road with the road rules, so why are we not doing the same with these E-Rideables?”
Curtin University professor of sustainability Peter Newman says although lifting these restrictions would be a step in the right direction, there needs to be a focus on infrastructure.
“Theres no question that electro-mobility is the future of transport, but the key is to provide the infrastructure that can enable these high-speed vehicles.”
Professor Newman says the Principle Shared Path Expansion Program (PSP), introduced in 2017 as part of the Western Australian Bicycle Network Plan, are no longer being used for their intended purposes.
“They are essentially for walking, and the odd cyclist,” he says.
“PSP’s need to be widened, be given greater rights, and every road now needs to be seen as something that needs to absorb electro-mobility of all kinds.”