Monday, June 24, 2024

E-scooter support gathers speed in SA

The South Australian Government says the state’s residents have overwhelmingly supported the use of private e-scooters and other personal mobility devices on local roads and paths.

The Government opened consultation earlier this year with private e-scooter users and the broader community to have their say on moving beyond a trial phase and allowing personal mobility devices (PMDs) on roads and in other public areas.

Of the almost 2,000 respondents to a yourSAy survey, 87% supported the ongoing use of e-scooters on public roads and paths.

“The results of this engagement are unequivocal – the overwhelming majority of respondents support the ongoing use of e-scooters on footpaths, bike lanes, back streets and in other public areas, with 45 per cent of participants saying they would go out and buy a device immediately if they were permitted to be used in public,” said the state’s Transport Minister, Tom Koutsantonis.

“About half of the survey participants indicated that they already use the fleet e-scooters that are currently permitted under trial, on average travelling between one and three kilometres per trip.

“It’s clear there is an appetite for sustainable modes of transport including first and last mile options, and this understanding will now inform a future framework currently under consideration for personal mobility devices, which will help ensure their future use is safe for all road users,” he said.

The survey asked participants for feedback on what kind of devices should be allowed, where they should be used, speed limits, rules for riders and whether the devices should be registered or insured.

The results showed that 76% of respondents supported riders not being required to hold a licence, while 68% didn’t see a need for riders to register or insure their devices.

Most responses broadly supported e-scooter use across all infrastructure types including shared paths, bicycle paths, bike lanes and footpaths, said Mr Koutsantonis.

“E-Scooters and other personal mobility devices are becoming more and more popular around the world, including here in Adelaide where more than one million e-scooter trips have been recorded since 2020 under council-driven trials.”

“Because of their popularity and benefits for sustainability and mobility, we committed to meaningful engagement with South Australians to deliver a sustainable and future-proof law reform,” he said.

The survey received mixed opinions on maximum speed limits with some preferring a 15kph maximum on pedestrian infrastructure like footpaths while others were in favour of 25kph. Generally, respondents were in favour of a 25kph speed limit when in bike lanes and on roads, where permitted.

There was a consensus that e-scooter riders must wear a helmet, not use a mobile phone, must not have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 or over and must not ride with a passenger.

Currently e-Scooters are only permitted for use under trial conditions, with trials operating within Adelaide’s CBD and North Adelaide, the City of Norwood, Payneham and St Peters, the City of Charles Sturt and the City of Unley in partnerships between local councils and commercial e-scooter fleet operators.

Privately owned e-scooters, e-skateboards and other PMDs are not currently allowed on South Australian roads and paths.

The State Government says it is now considering all feedback obtained from the community engagement process to inform any future regulatory or legislative changes regarding the use of e-scooters and other PMDs in South Australia.

Latest Articles