October 11, 2023

Reckless riders on footpaths, cycleways may end up in court

By Matt Dennien
October 12, 2023 — 1.01am
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The news

E-scooter riders in Queensland will face a new offence for riding recklessly on footpaths and bike paths, under new laws proposed by the state government.

To be introduced in parliament by Transport Minister Mark Bailey on Thursday, the bill would also create new obligations for riders to assist or provide their details after a crash.

The laws would also apply to cyclists and allow anyone unable to get details from a rider – including out of fear that doing so may expose them to harm – to report the crash to police instead.

Why it matters

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The proposed changes, likely to become law after consideration by parliament, are the latest in a series of ongoing reforms recommended by a 2022 personal mobility device safety plan.

While e-scooter users and cyclists are already required to ride with “due care and attention” on roads, the bill would extend this to “road-related areas” such as footpaths and bike paths.

There will be no on-the-spot fine for the offences, but courts will be able to impose penalties of up to $6192 for careless riding or $3096 for not meeting post-crash obligations.

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Brisbane has been at the forefront of e-scooter use in Australia, but this has not come without safety concerns and legislative catch-ups to the still-fledgling transport option.

What they said

Bailey said the laws, when passed, would ensure e-scooter users and bike riders had the same responsibilities as others.

“This includes an obligation to ride with care around other path users, and consistent post-crash responsibilities, such as calling an ambulance and exchanging details,” he said in a statement.

“E-scooters are a great way to get around, but their social licence depends on users doing the right thing.

“These new laws ensure e-scooter riders will need to play by the same rules as the rest of us, and significant penalties will apply for those who ride irresponsibly.”

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Matt Dennien is a state political reporter with Brisbane Times, where he has also covered city council and general news. He previously worked as a reporter for newspapers in Tasmania and Brisbane community radio station 4ZZZ.Connect via Twitter, Facebook or email.
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