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Rules for personal mobility devices

Rule changes

New rules and increased penalties came into effect on Tuesday, 1 November 2022 and apply to people riding personal mobility devices, such as e-scooters, in Queensland. These changes will affect you if you:

  • ride a personal mobility device
  • drive a vehicle
  • ride a motorcycle
  • are a pedestrian
    ride a bike.
Read more about how you are affected

A broad range of personal mobility devices can be used in Queensland. You must comply with the rules for personal mobility devices and the general road rules as they are classified as a type of vehicle.

Children under 12 years of age must not ride personal mobility devices.

Remember, people of all abilities use our paths and not everyone can easily move around a device that might be blocking the path.

Personal mobility device riders who break the road rules will be given the same fines as motorists, but will not accumulate demerit points.

On this page:

Electric scooter graphic

What is a personal mobility device

Personal mobility devices can include:

  • e-scooters
  • e-skateboards
  • self-balancing single wheeled devices (like e-unicycles and e-boards).

In Queensland, a personal mobility device must:

  • be designed for use by one person only
  • fit the following dimensions:
    • 1,250mm in length by 700mm in width by 1,350mm in height
      or
    • 700mm in length by 1,250mm in width by 1,350mm in height
  • have a maximum weight of 60kg—when not carrying a person or load
  • be powered by an electric motor
  • have one or more wheels.

Vehicles with pedals, motorised mobility devices (such as mobility scooters or motorised wheelchairs) and wheeled recreational devices (such as skateboards, roller skates and foot scooters) are not personal mobility devices.

Where you can ride

A bicycle lane only signA shared path signWhen you ride a personal mobility device, you must always:

  • keep left and give way to pedestrians
  • travel at the right speed for where you are
  • travel at a safe distance from a pedestrian so you can avoid a collision
  • keep left of oncoming bicycles and other personal mobility devices.

Paths

  • Footpaths — 12km/h maximum
  • Shared paths —12km/h maximum (unless signed otherwise)
  • Separated paths—25km/h maximum (unless signed otherwise)
  • Bicycle paths — 25km/h maximum (unless signed otherwise)

Images from left to right: Pedestrians on a footpath, A shared path with pedestrian and bike rider signs painted on the ground, Shared path with cyclist, Shared path with bike riders riding, Separated bike path and pedestrian path, A separated path for bike riders and pedestrians by the river, Separated path, Bike path

Roads

  • Bike lanes on roads with a speed limit of 50km/h or less
    • 25km/h maximum
    • obey speed limits lower than 25km/h
  • Any bike lane that is physically separated from other lanes of traffic (for example by bollards or raised median strip)
    • 25km/h maximum
    • obey speed limits lower than 25km/h
  • Local streets (50km/h or less and no dividing line)
    • 25km/h maximum
    • obey speed limits lower than 25km/h.

Personal mobility devices prohibited sign

Prohibited areas

You must not ride past a 'personal mobility devices prohibited' sign. Your local council or land owners may prohibit personal mobility devices in areas like malls, esplanades or jetties.

You can contact your local council to find out if there are any local laws that apply to the use of personal mobility devices.

Duration 00:01:30

[Rules for Riders – Where you can ride and speed limits animates on screen, with icons of each personal mobility device.]

[Animated character riding along a footpath on an e-scooter, passing pedestrians and path users safely.]

Do you know where you’re permitted to ride e-scooters, e-skateboards, and similar devices?

You can travel on footpaths at a maximum speed of 12 kilometres per hour.
[ Animated character moves to the left side of the path.]

You should stay to the left, if possible, and always keep a safe distance from others. Give way to other path users and anticipate their movements.

[An e-skateboard rider travelling along the shared path, passing cyclists. The rider pass a shared path sign.]

You can also use shared paths – these are usually signed with a symbol of a pedestrian above a bicycle.

A maximum speed of 12 kilometres per hour also applies here, unless signed otherwise.

[The e-skateboarder riding on one side of the separated path passing bike riders and pedestrians.]

You can use the bike side of the separated footpath but not the pedestrian side.

[The e-skateboarder riding on one side of the dedicated bike path, with cyclists passing on a bikeway the bikeway sign is shown.]

Dedicated bike paths can also be used. The maximum speed limit here is 25 kilometres per hour.

[The e-skateboarder travelling in an on-road bike lane with the bike lane sign present. Vehicles travel past the rider. A 50km/h speed limit sign on the road for vehicles.

You can ride in bike lanes on roads that are 50 kilometres per hour or less. 25 kilometres per hour is still the maximum speed that you can travel here.

[An e-scooter rider travels along a local road.]

You can also use local streets if they have a speed limit of 50 kilometres or less with no dividing line or median strip.

You must also keep as far to the left side of the road as you safely can.

[A police officer writing up a fine for an e-scooter rider.]

Police can issue on the spot fines of more than $500 for anyone speeding on e-scooters, e-skateboards, and similar devices. Stay within the limit for everyone's safety.

Visit the Streetsmarts Queensland website for more information on riding rules and safety.

[Search bar with StreetSmartsQLD, Queensland Government logo
[Authorised by the Queensland Government, William Street, Brisbane]

Helmets

When you ride a personal mobility device, you must wear an Australian Standard (AS) approved bicycle helmet or an approved motorbike helmet. You must securely fit and fasten it. An approved bicycle helmet means a helmet that complies with AS 2063 or AS/NZS 2063. An approved motorbike helmet means a helmet that complies with AS1698 or AS/NZS1698, or the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe standard (ECE 22.05 or 22.06).

You do not need to wear a helmet if you have a doctor's certificate stating that, for a specific amount of time, you cannot wear a helmet:

  • for medical reasons
  • because of a physical characteristic that makes it unreasonable for you to wear one.

If you have a doctor's certificate, you must carry it with you when you ride without a helmet.

You also do not need to wear a helmet if you are a member of a religious group and are wearing a headdress customarily worn by your group, that makes it impractical to wear a helmet.

Duration hh:mm:ss

[Rules for Riders – Safety gear animates on screen, with icons of each personal mobility device.]

[Animated character riding along a footpath on an e-scooter, passing pedestrians and path users safely.]

You must wear a helmet with the straps fastened when riding an e-scooter, e-skateboard, or similar devices. This can be an approved bicycle helmet or a motorcycle helmet.

[Animation shows an approved bicycle helmet and then a motorcycle helmet on the rider.]

[An e-skateboard rider travelling on a shared path, wearing protective gear.]

Additional protective gear like elbow and knee pads and high visibility clothing is also recommended. Remember, you’re always safer if others can see you.

[Animated character waves at stationary cyclist]

[E-scooter rider point of view on device testing out their bell.]

If your device has handlebars like an e-scooter, it must be fitted with a warning device like a bell. Use this to alert others of your presence.

[E-scooter rider at night with white front light and red back light on. The rider uses their brakes to avoid hitting a possum on the footpath]

Narrator: All rideable devices must have lights and reflectors to use at night or in hazardous conditions, and be fitted with effective brakes.

You never know when you’ll need them, so check before you ride.

Visit the StreetSmarts Queensland website for more information on riding rules and safety.

[Search bar displaying StreetSmartsQLD and Queensland Government logo]

[Authorised by the Queensland Government, William Street, Brisbane.]

Riding and mobile phones

To keep yourself and other road users safe your full attention is needed when riding a personal mobility device.

Holding a mobile phone in your hand or resting it on any part of your body when riding is illegal. This includes tucking a phone into your clothing. The phone does not need to be turned on for it to be an offence.

Mounting your phone to the handlebars is allowed so that it can be used for GPS navigation or as a speedometer.

You can use a mobile phone in your hand when stationary on paths or nature strips.

Duration 00:00:38

[Rules for Riders Mobile phone use animated on screen, with icons of each personal mobility device.]

[Animated character riding along a footpath on an e-scooter. They are looking down at their phone while riding.]

It’s illegal to use your hand-held mobile phone while riding an e-scooter, e-skateboard or similar devices.

If you are caught doing so, police can issue on the spot fines of more than $1,000.

[Character stopped by a police officer and given a fine.]

[Another device rider, riding along with their phone mounted to their handlebars.]

Mounting your phone to the handlebars to use is ok, but only if you’re not distracted, and you’re not holding or resting your phone on any part of your body.

Whenever you ride, concentrate on riding and leave your phone alone.

Visit the StreetSmarts Queensland website for more information on riding rules and safety.

[Search bar with StreetSmartsQLD, Queensland Government logo

[Authorised by the Queensland Government, William Street, Brisbane]

Equipment

Every time you ride, your personal mobility device must have:

  • an effective stopping system controlled by using brakes, gears or motor control
  • a working bell, horn or a similar warning device (if the device has handlebars).

Your personal mobility device must not have sharp protrusions.

If you ride at night or in weather conditions that make it difficult to see, you must display (either on the personal mobility device or on you):

  • a white light (flashing or steady) that can be clearly seen at least 200m from the front of the personal mobility device
  • a red light (flashing or steady) that can be clearly seen at least 200m from the back of the personal mobility device
  • a red reflector that can be clearly seen at least 50m from behind the personal mobility device when a vehicle's headlights shine on it.

Age restrictions

A person riding a personal mobility device must be either:

  • at least 16 years
    or
  • at least 12 years and supervised by an adult while riding the device.

Children under 12 years of age must not ride personal mobility devices.

Duration 00:00:50

[Rules for Riders Age limits & doubling animates on screen, with icons of each personal mobility device.]

Children 11 years or under must not ride e-scooters, e-skateboards or similar devices.

[Animated child character on an e-scooter riding down a footpath, with an ‘X’ to show this is the incorrect behaviour.

[Animated child on a push scooter with a tick overhead to show this is the correct behaviour. The child pushes the scooter along with their feet, before it changes to a small-powered scooter]

Children can ride lower powered devices such as small foot powered scooters and scooters with a 10km/h limit, powered by a small electric motor of 200 watts or less. These have their own set of rules.

[A taller teenage character on an e-scooter rides slowly behind the small child, accompanied by a supervising adult.]

12- to 15-year-olds can only ride them with adult supervision.

[An adult riding an e-scooter with their child as passenger ride past in the opposite direction. They are stopped by a police officer who starts talking to the adult and issues them with a fine.]

16-year-olds and over are allowed to ride these devices but it is against the law to carry a passenger, no matter how big or small. These devices have been designed for one person at a time, and fines apply for doubling.

Visit the Streetsmarts Queensland website for more information on riding rules and safety.

[Search bar displaying StreetSmartsQLD and Queensland Government logo]

[Authorised by the Queensland Government, William Street, Brisbane.]

Other rules

Carrying people

You must not carry another person when riding a personal mobility device. Not even children.

Signalling

If your personal mobility device is fitted with indicator lights, you must use them when you turn right.

Otherwise, you must use a hand signal when you turn right. To do this, extend your right arm out horizontally—at a right angle from the right side of the personal mobility device. Your hand should be open, with your palm facing forward.

If your personal mobility device is fitted with indicators, you must use them to give a left change of direction.

Keeping left and overtaking

When you ride, you must:

  • ride as close as possible to the left side (or on the road shoulder) on a single lane road
  • ride to the left of any oncoming vehicle
  • not overtake another vehicle on the left if that vehicle is indicating and turning left
  • not overtake another vehicle on the left if it is not safe
  • not ride with more than 2 riders side by side unless you are overtaking another rider
  • ride no more than 1.5m apart, if travelling beside another rider.
Separated path sign
A separated path sign

Riding on a separated path

On a separated path, you can only ride on the side that is for bicycle riders. The other side is for pedestrians.

The separated path sign will show you which side of the path you must ride on.

You must always ride to the left of bicycle and personal mobility device riders coming toward you.

Bicycle lane sign
A bicycle lane sign

Riding in a bicycle lane on a road

You can choose to ride your personal mobility device in some bicycle lanes, including:

  • bicycle lanes on roads with a speed limit of 50km/h
  • bicycle lanes that are physically separated from other lanes of traffic (for example, by bollards or a raised median strip) regardless of the speed of the road.

You must not ride in a bicycle lane on the wrong side of the road (travelling towards oncoming traffic).

You can choose whether or not to ride in a bicycle lane.

Riding across a road at a crossing

You are allowed to stay on your personal mobility device to cross a road at a designated crossing, but you must:

  • stop before riding across a marked crossing
  • ride safely and slowly and give way to pedestrians
  • obey the speed limit of 12km/h when on the crossing.

You can ride your personal mobility device diagonally across a scramble crossing.

You must give way to vehicles and other road users at uncontrolled intersections before you ride across.

Riding at bicycle crossing lights

When riding along the road and facing a red traffic light, do not ride past the red traffic light unless a green bicycle crossing light is also facing you.

When crossing the road at bicycle crossing lights, you must:

  • stop before entering the crossing (if the light is red)
  • only cross when the light is green
  • if the lights change to yellow or red while you are still in the crossing, cross using the safest, most direct route
  • obey the speed limit of 12km/h when on the crossing.
View larger image An image of a bicycle storage area Enlarge image
A bicycle storage area on a road

Riding to a bicycle storage area

A personal mobility device rider may choose to enter a bicycle storage area from a bicycle lane that can be used by a personal mobility device rider.

When you enter a bicycle storage area, you must:

  • give way to anyone that is already in the bicycle storage area
  • give way to any vehicle that is entering the area on a green or yellow traffic light.

Read more about bicycle storage areas.

Riding with a person in a personal mobility device trailer

You can tow a child in or on a personal mobility device trailer if:

  • you are 16 years or older
  • the child is under 10 years old and is wearing an approved helmet that is securely fitted and fastened
  • the personal mobility device trailer can safely carry the child.

Carrying a load

You can carry a load on your personal mobility device. If you choose to carry a load, you must:

  • attach the load to your personal mobility device in a way that does not make the device unstable
  • make sure the load is unlikely to fall from the personal mobility device.

Towing

You must not:

  • ride a personal mobility device that is being towed by another vehicle
  • hold on to a moving vehicle while riding a personal mobility device
  • lead an animal while riding a personal mobility device.

Riding too close to a vehicle

You must keep at least 2m between you and the back of a vehicle when you follow that vehicle for over 200m.

Being a traffic hazard

You must avoid being a traffic hazard – do not ride into the path of a driver or pedestrian.

Rules when hiring a personal mobility device

If you are using a hired personal mobility device you must leave your device in a safe and responsible way having regard for other path users.

Hire companies may have additional conditions of use in addition these rules.

Hire companies must consult their local council or authority prior to deployment.