Segway Scooters

Are electric scooters allowed on bike lanes? 

When riding your electric scooter, the differences between federal, state and local rules and regulations can be confusing. Electric scooters were only subjected to federal and, subsequently, state and local regulations in 2019. They are a relatively new mode of transport for Australia’s legal system to contend with, so ‘growing pains’ are to be expected. 

Source: bicycleNSW

However, one thing is certain: you can generally ride your electric scooter in the bike lane of a roadway, provided you adhere to other road safety laws – except for New South Wales, where e-scooters are not permitted in any public road, except for the City of Macquarie. 

Some states will only permit you to ride your e-scooter in a separate bike lane. Onroad bike lanes are also generally safe, provided they are separated by a line or median strip. 

Let’s examine the specific regulations governing riding your electric scooter on bike paths, as they differ from state to state.  

Regulations and guidelines 

One of the sometimes confusing things about Australian road rules is how much they differ from state to state. Even though basic road safety laws, such as wearing one’s helmet and observing the speed limits, are commonplace, some different regulations when riding your e-scooter on a bike path exist in different states. 

Let’s break down how different parts of Australia handle riding an e-scooter on bike paths.

New South Wales 

New South Wales is one of two states in Australia where riding an e-scooter in any public space or roadway is currently illegal, except for in Western Sydney Parklands and Australian Botanic Gardens, which are trialling their use in a public space. 

When riding an e-scooter on a shared path in these trial areas, you must: 

  • Stay under 10 kilometres per hour.
  • Give way to pedestrians.
  • Keep to the left of the shared path.

 Northern Territory 

Like New South Wales, the Northern Territory’s publicly rideable electric scooters are only available as part of a shared scooter scheme. Similarly to NSW, riders in NT aren’t allowed to ride on the road extensively but can use a shared path and designated and separated bike lanes. 

Road usage in the Northern Territory is limited to only 50 metres continuously to go around an obstruction or to resume using a shared path or bike lane. While on the bicycle path, users must keep left and observe a speed limit of 15kph. Bike lane users must also give way to pedestrians, keep to the left and wear a bicycle helmet.


Unlike the Northern Territory and NSW, Queensland has been proactive in designing electric scooter laws that allow e-scooters to travel on roadways with bike lanes, provided that they were separated bike lanes and all other road rules were observed. 

When riding an e-scooter in a bike lane in Queensland, one must observe a maximum speed limit of 12kph, down from 25kph on local roads. However, suppose no separate bike lane exists on a given roadway. In that case, electric scooters should be ridden on shared paths and footpaths while observing distancing from pedestrians and keeping to the left, along with all other road rules.   

Because of this proactive, e-scooter-friendly approach, Brisbane City has enacted several trials of public use of electric scooters, along with many other areas of Queensland.  

Australian Capital Territory 

The Australian Capital Territory currently has e-scooter trials running in Canberra and Belconnen town centre, where electric scooters can ride on shared paths and in bike lanes, providing their speed is kept at or below 25kph and they follow all other road legislation.

South Australia 

In South Australia, privately owned electric scooters can only be ridden on private property, and users must use an approved shared e-scooter. Users can ride on footpaths, shared paths and bicycle lanes unless there is an obstruction in the lane. In that case, you may enter the road until past the obstruction.


Tasmania is one of the most easy-going states regarding electric scooter usage. It allows riders over 16 to ride e-scooters on roadways, shared paths and bike paths, providing they do not exceed 25kph. Riders under 16 cannot ride e-scooters with a power output above 200W and cannot go faster than 10kph. 

Like everywhere in Australia, Tasmanian e-scooter riders must not carry passengers, nor can they ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Riders must always wear a bicycle helmet and observe all other road rules. 

Where are electric scooters allowed?

So, you can’t really ride your electric scooter on the road, or if you can, you have to get off the road as soon as possible, except in Tasmania and Queensland. 

Source: Forbes

But where else can you ride your e-scooter safely? Are bike trails a suitable alternative? And what are the differences between a bike trail, a shared path and a footpath? 

Bike trails: a suitable alternative for electric scooters? 

A bike trail may be the next best option for your electric scooters. Sometimes, bike trails are separate bike lanes that run parallel to a roadway. Other times, these are set back from the road and run through a wooded area and are often surfaced with asphalt, gravel, or earth. 

Bike trails that run parallel to the road and on the same surface as the road are quite suitable for your electric scooter. These work best with the types of tyres that one can expect from a traditional electric scooter and often result in fewer accidents due to the separate nature of the bike lane from the traffic. 

Provided that e-scooter riders can keep left and suitably share the bicycle lanes with bicycle riders, bike lanes can be a popular option for commuters and recreational riders. 

However, bike trails that are set back from the road and provide an alternative route through a more unstable road surface may require that your electric scooter have thicker tires to handle the rugged terrain and that you can maintain a slower, safer speed on narrower trails with less margin for error.

Differences between bike paths, shared paths and footpaths 

Before you start riding your e-scooter everywhere, you’ll need to learn the differences between a bike path, a shared path and a footpath to help you learn where you can and can’t. 

A bike path is a part of a roadway shared between bicycle riders and other personal mobility devices. Bike lanes are often built into roadways in different parts of Australia, particularly in major cities and are typically separated by a line or median strip. 

A shared path, meanwhile, encompasses bicycle riders and pedestrians and can also include e-scooter riders, depending on the laws in your state. Outside of bicycle lanes, these are the most common rideable surfaces for e-scooter riders in Australia. 

A footpath is typically a pedestrian-only walkway that runs alongside roadways. These are narrow passages at 1 metre wide and are often not suitable for use by electric scooters.

Where are electric scooters prohibited?

Unfortunately for Australian e-scooter riders, there are many places in Australia where you are prohibited from an electric bike, an electric scooter, or other personal mobility device powered by an electric motor.

National parks and protected areas 

You are not permitted to ride e-scooters in any National Parks. However, you can ride your electric scooter to the park’s boundaries and park and lock up your e-scooter in designated parking areas in our National Parks. 

You cannot ride your electric scooter in any of Australia’s national protected areas, except for the Royal Botanic Gardens in Victoria, where the state has implemented an e-scooter trial.

Specific exclusions and sensitive locations 

There are a few specific exclusions to riding your electric scooter. These include many Australian roadways and on or around the perimeter of Australia’s sensitive locations, including military bases and other institutions involved with national defence.

Special events and temporary restrictions 

Roads that you may typically be able to ride your electric scooter on may sometimes close for special community events, or close for construction, rendering you unable to use the road or associated bike path to ride on. These closures typically only last for a few days, or if a longer construction project is underway, you may need to find an alternative route for a few weeks or months.

Best practices for riding electric scooters

When you own an electric scooter, you are responsible to other road users to use it safely and responsibly. Electric scooters can harm you and other road users if ridden inappropriately. Despite their lack of great speed, they can still do some damage. 

Source: ETCS

Below are some best practices when riding your electric scooter on bike trails. 

  • Always wear a helmet, long sleeves, and possibly riding gloves to offer maximum protection against the potentially hazardous conditions found on bike trails, including ruts and divots in the earth and trees or other debris.
  • Ride slower than you normally would to account for potentially uneven surfaces and unexpectedly meeting other people on the trail.
  • Slightly deflate your tyres to accommodate a reduction in traction. Also, ensure your brakes function properly and will stop you if necessary.
  • Look and listen when riding your electric scooter on a bike trail. You may be able to hear other people coming before you’ll see them. 

Interacting with pedestrians and cyclists 

Whether you’re riding on roads or shared paths, you’ll interact with pedestrians and cyclists during the run of your day. Knowing how best to interact with bike riders and pedestrians will help keep you and them safe while making your day easier and less stressful. Below are some tips on interacting safely and positively with pedestrians and cyclists. 

  • When riding on a shared path, keep to the left as much as possible. This will allow for cyclists to pass you safely.
  •  Always yield to pedestrian traffic when riding a shared path. When coming to a pedestrian crossing, dismount and cross the road.
  •  If foot and bicycle traffic is causing congestion on your shared path, you may (depending on where you live in Australia) be able to use the roadway for up to 50m to go around the heavy foot and bicycle traffic.
  • Always approach with caution when coming up behind pedestrians and use your bell as a warning to let them know you’re there, if necessary.

Penalties for violating regulations 

As with any road rules, there are sometimes significant penalties for violating them. Despite riding an e-scooter, all the road rules apply to you. 

If police stop you for violating the law, you may face either a written or verbal warning, or you could face a fine or even demerit points on your driver’s license if you live in a state requiring a license to ride an e-scooter. Depending on the circumstances, you may also have your electric scooter seized by police.

Summing up

If you’ve just bought an e-scooter with bigger tires and want to take it for a ride on the local bike trails, you must first check if that’s allowed. If it is, pay attention to pedestrians, keep an eye out for bikers, and, most of all, have fun.

Frequently asked questions 

Can I ride my electric scooter in my local park? 

It may be possible to use your electric scooter in your local park. However, as this is a public space, you should stick to shared paths or bike trails. Call your local park authority to check.

If you live in a state that does not support the public use of electric scooters, your local parks may have a scooter-sharing scheme that allows you to ride an electric scooter within the park’s boundaries. 

Always wear a bicycle helmet when riding an electric scooter. Keep left on shared paths. Be wary of pedestrians using the park, and yield when necessary.

Are there any age restrictions for electric scooter use on bike trails? 

In general, the age restrictions apply on the roadways for your particular state – some states mandate that only those over 18 can ride an e-scooter, and others mandate 16 as the legal age. Those over 12 can sometimes ride an e-scooter with less than 200W of power if they travel below a speed limit of 15kph. 

This makes bike trails a wonderful option for an afternoon family outing.

What should I do if I’m unclear on local regulations? 

If you are unclear on the local regulations surrounding using electric scooters, call your local council to get the regulations on e-scooter use on local roads. You can also check your state’s legislation surrounding e-scooter use online.

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