Segway Scooters

Riding an electric scooter can be a joyous experience. The wind in your hair, the sun on your face, the hum of the electric motor as you trundle along on your morning commute to work or even out on a post-work excursion, but for many electric scooter riders, the rules for riding motorised electric scooters may surprise you. 

Source: iStock

Let’s examine the rules and regulations surrounding electrically powered scooters on Australian roads, including how they vary from state to state. This will provide you with all of the information necessary to continue enjoying your electric scooter without breaking the law.

Are you ready to go? Let’s get started.

What are the national laws surrounding scooter use on roads? 

No national laws specifically govern the use of e-scooters on Australian roads. However, some general laws apply to all two-wheeled vehicles, whether bicycles, e-bikes or electric scooters. In general, all road users on these types of vehicles must:

  • Obey the posted maximum speed limit.
  • Always wear a bicycle helmet or other protective helmet.
  • If your state requires licensing to ride an electric scooter, always have it with you.
  • Unless it is permitted in your state to ride on the road, only ride your electric scooter on a bike path.
  • Do not operate your electric scooter while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Do not operate a mobile device while riding your electric scooter. 

When it comes to breaking the law on electric scooter use in Australia, some offences and penalties can lead to confiscation of your e-scooter, a fine for a second violation, or a verbal warning, depending on the circumstances of your violation. 

To help get a clearer picture of Australian road rules concerning electric scooters, we need to look at each state’s rules and regulations.

Australia’s state laws surrounding electric scooter use on roads

Australian state laws govern the use of electric scooters and are fairly similar across all states, mirroring the national legislation, with some key differences. Let’s look at each state’s basic legislation to see whether you can safely ride your electric scooter in the state where you live. 

South Australia 

  • The rider must be 18 years of age or older.
  • The rider must wear an approved and properly fitted helmet.
  • The rider cannot ride on a road except when obstructed when riding on bike lanes. If obstructed, the rider CAN ride on the road for no more than 50 metres, observing proper road safety and riding safely beside other road users.
  • An e-scooter rider cannot ride on a road where the speed limit is more than 50km/hr.
  • Riders must not exceed a maximum speed of 15km/hr.
  • Riders must wear reflective clothing when riding at night and have reflectors, lights and a warning bell or horn on their electric scooter.
  • Riders must dismount and walk across pedestrian crossings.

Australian Capital Territory 

In the ACT, e-scooter laws have been in place since 2019 and cover electric mobility scooters. These rules are as follows: 

  • An electric scooter must only carry one person (no double-up riding!).
  • The electric scooter’s weight must not exceed 60kg.
  • The electric scooter must have a working brake system.
  • An electric scooter’s maximum speed cannot exceed 25km/hr.
  • You cannot ride your e-scooter on a roadway. It must only be ridden on a bike path, a shared path, or a separate path.


Victoria has recently changed its laws surrounding electric scooters. These new laws are as follows: 

  • You can ride your e-scooter on roads with a speed limit of up to 60kph, provided you abide by your electric scooter’s maximum speed that cannot exceed 20kph.
  • Riders must be 16 years of age or older.
  • Other legislation in Victoria concerning the safe operation of an electric scooter is the same as other Australian road rules.


In Tasmania, electric scooter laws are slightly more lax than in the rest of the country. Tasmanian e-scooter legislation is as follows: 

  • Riders may travel on local roads, shared footpaths and bicycle paths with a maximum speed of 50kph.
  • Riders must be at least 16 years of age but can be under 16 if riding an e-scooter with not more than 200W in power.
  • Have two reflectors (front and rear) and lights (front and rear) when riding at night.
  • Every e-scooter in Tasmania cannot exceed 15kph on footpaths and not exceed 25kph on shared paths, bicycle paths and roadways.

New South Wales 

In New South Wales, riding a private electric scooter in a public place or on public roadways, pathways, shared or otherwise, is illegal. However, you are not required to have a driver’s license to ride a private e-scooter on private property. 

It is worth noting that the City of Lake Macquarie in NSW enacted an electric scooter trial in December last year. The rules for using hired e-scooters in the City of Lake Macquarie are as follows: 

  • You must be 16 or older to ride a shared e-scooter.
  • You must only ride an e-scooter on these shared paths: The Fernleigh Track, the Croudace Bay Foreshore, the Warner’s Bay Foreshore up to Glendale, and the Toronto Foreshore to Fassifern Train Station.
  • You cannot exceed the maximum speed of 10kph on shared paths.


Unlike NSW, Queensland encourages using electric mobility scooters and other personal mobility devices with different legislation that includes the following: 

  • Electric scooters can be ridden on local streets with a speed limit of 50km/h or less, without dividing lines or median strips.
  • E-scooters can also be ridden on bike lanes with speed limits not exceeding 50km/h.
  • Speed limits on QLD e-scooter riders are as follows:
    • 12kph on shared footpaths and crossings.
    • 25kph on local streets and designated bicycle paths.
    • 10kph in shared zones.
  • All other road rules and general safety legislation must be adhered to.

Northern Territory 

The Northern Territory is also engaged in a trial in Hobart, where it has enacted the following legislation for hired electric scooters. 

  • Riders must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Riders must wear a fitted helmet and have a warning bell or horn.
  • No electric scooter can exceed a maximum speed of 15kph.
  • Electric scooters can only ride on shared footpaths and only on the road for 50 metres in case of an obstruction on the shared path.
  • E-scooter riders must obey all other road safety laws.

Differentiating electric scooters from other vehicles 

As the adoption of electric scooters as a method of transport for Australians is a comparatively new thing for Australian lawmakers at all levels, general safety rules and regulations surrounding e-scooter use and riding have been borrowed from other personal mobility devices like bicycles. 

However, lawmakers have offered key differentials regarding where e-scooters can be ridden and the speed limits they must adhere to, even when riding on public roadways or shared paths.

To accomplish this, laws have been enacted to produce electric scooters requiring a speed-limiting device built into the wiring that limits the maximum speed a scooter can reach before its software automatically shuts off its engine. 

Regarding road safety, electric scooters are still in their infancy in an Australian context, so they are treated with extreme caution regarding restrictions placed on how, when and where they can be ridden.

Speed and power restrictions 

When riding an electric scooter on Australian roads, you must be familiar with the speed restrictions placed upon you as an e-scooter rider. Throughout Australia, e-scooters are generally not permitted to exceed a speed of 25kph on roadways and 15kph on other shared paths, including bicycle lanes. 

Source: Varla

Some exceptions to these rules apply: see the above breakdown of different state regulations. 

Additionally, power restrictions are implemented once an electric scooter hits a public roadway or shared path, meaning it cannot be ridden if it has more than 200W of power. On private property, these restrictions do not necessarily apply, except in NSW.  

While some power restrictions are not enshrined into law, your electric scooter will likely have to exceed 200W power to exceed the maximum speed limit posted by your state. Therefore, the limitation is de facto imposed. 

Helmet and safety gear requirements 

Many of the requirements for electric scooter safety gear mirror that of bicycle safety. Namely, the use of a properly fitted and approved bicycle helmet. Safety gear like knee and elbow pads are not required, but wearing them is a good idea, given the potential for significant skin injury after a crash. 

Other safety requirements for electric scooter riders generally include reflectors and reflective clothing for riding at night and using a warning bell or horn.  

Road usage rules for electric scooters 

Whether or not your electric scooters can be ridden on local roads depends on the specific laws within your state, city and locality.  Riding electric scooters on motorways and other roads where the speed limit exceeds 50kph is not permitted anywhere in the country.

When riding on roads is permissible 

Other road usage rules are similar to those for bicycles and cars, including being aware and courteous toward other drivers and keeping off the roads except to travel 50 metres or less in case of an obstruction on your shared path.

Road riding is also possible in certain states and localities where the maximum speed of the local road does not exceed 50 kph. In general, it is best not to ride your electric scooter on any roadway for your safety and the safety of other road users.

Understanding the differences between roads and bike lanes 

Bicycle paths and bike lanes are generally the one place on the ‘roadway’ where you can ride an electric scooter with the flow of traffic. However, these rules and regulations often apply to separated bike lanes by line or concrete median. 

Additional speed restrictions are imposed on those riding on a bicycle path or shared footpath that generally fall between 15kph and 25kph, regardless of the state in which you live.

Local variations and municipal bylaws

As with most rules and regulations, they are enacted and adjusted at multiple levels of government. You must check your local bylaws to see how your electric scooter may be legislated differently than state or federal regulations.

For example, it may be illegal to ride your electric scooter in public roadways or shared paths of your municipality, except in specific locations, such as in Hobart, NT, the City of Lake Macquarie, NSW, and Victoria, ACT. It’s always worth abiding by local legislation surrounding electric scooters to avoid civil penalties like fines. 

Safety tips for riding on roads 

When riding on Australia’s roads with an electric scooter, you will be highly restricted as to where and how you can ride, so you want to ensure that you’re doing it properly and safely. Below are a few safety tips to observe when riding on the road.

Source: Tier

  • Always wear appropriate scooter safety gear, like a bicycle helmet. Consider wearing knee and elbow pads, too, due to the increased speed you’ll travel on the roadway.
  • Observe all stop signs and other road symbols. Use hand signals to indicate turning and stopping, as when riding a bicycle.
  • Avoid riding your e-scooter in wet road conditions, as you will be less visible to other road users, and your electric scooter might not be equipped to handle wet weather.
  • Only use the roadway for the permissible distance by your local, state or federal regulations (usually only 50m) in case of an obstruction on a shared path.
  • Always ride on a separate path at the posted speed limit or below it if possible. Be wary of pedestrians and pedestrian crossings.
  • Electric scooter riders are expected to keep as far to the left of a roadway when riding in traffic as possible to allow maximum flow and space for other vehicles.
  • Know that you are bound by the same road safety rules and regulations as everyone else, including cars and bicycles. 

When electric scooters are prohibited on roads 

In Australia, the use of electric scooters on roadways is very restricted, with a few exceptions made by state legislation. However, there are a few instances where riding your electric scooter on certain roads is illegal. These include the following roadways. 

  • All high-speed roads and other roads that exceed posted maximum speeds of 50 or 60kph, including all interstate highways. Your locality may have other regulations concerning public roadway usage; look them up.
  • You are not permitted to ride down any road that has been partially closed to the public for construction, whether on a local road or otherwise. You are expected to ride on a shared path or find another route to your destination: follow the bicycles.
  • You are not permitted to ride your electric scooter down any temporarily closed road for a special event.

Penalties for violating road regulations 

While you may ‘only’ be riding an electric scooter, you are still subject to the same base regulations as any other road user in the country, with specific restrictions applying to you as an e-scooter rider.

Some states require electric scooter riders to be licensed and covered by a driver’s license. Depending on the specific circumstances of the violation, you may incur some of the following penalties. 

  • A fine and/or demerit points on your license.A verbal or written warning.
  • Seizure of your electric scooter by police.
  • In areas where electric scooters are otherwise illegal to ride if caught outside a ‘trial area’, you could incur a fine of $120 in places like New South Wales. 

Summing up 

The regulations for using electric scooters on Australian roads vary from state to state, as there are no national laws specifically governing e-scooters. However, some general guidelines apply across the country. Riders must adhere to speed limits, wear helmets, and follow specific rules for e-scooter use on roads, bike paths, and footpaths.

Riders need to be aware of the specific regulations in your area, as violating these rules can lead to fines, demerit points on your driver’s license, verbal or written warnings, and even the seizure of your e-scooter in some cases.

Frequently asked questions

Can I ride my electric scooter on any type of road? 

In short, no. In many cities and territories of Australia, it is illegal to ride an e-scooter on a high-traffic road. You cannot ride an e-scooter on a highway or other high-speed road where the maximum speed is greater than 50kph or 60kph in Tasmania.

In most Australian states, you can only ride an e-scooter on local roads with a maximum speed of 50kph, on shared paths or in separated bike lanes on other roadways.

Do I need a driver’s license to ride an electric scooter on any type of road? 

The answer to this question will depend on where you live. In the Northern Territory, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia, you must ride an electric scooter with a full driver’s license. 
However, in New South Wales (in trial areas), Tasmania and Victoria, you must pass testing to ride your electric scooter in public.

What should I do if I’m unsure of local regulations? 

Suppose you’re unsure about your locality’s rules and regulations concerning riding an e-scooter. In that case, you should immediately contact your local city council, who should be able to properly inform you of the specific regulations in your local area.

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