With more and more brands selling electric scooters around the world, the trend has made its way to Australia despite our road laws not keeping up. As a result, people are riding these battery powered scooters illegally on NSW roads. This morning, the NSW Government announced it will conduct a trail to determine their future plans for the category.

The Government acknowledges the popularity of the category, with Minister for Transport and Roads Rob Stokes saying “This trial is in response to the growing use of private electric scooters and the need to manage this trend safely,”

New transport technologies like e-scooters are exciting and offer an affordable, convenient and sustainable mode of mobility, particularly for first and last mile journeys. The NSW Government is keen to enable innovation but safety is paramount.

A trial will take place next year to “assess their safe use in the community”, with Transport for NSW set to talk to local councils early in the new year about potential locations for the trail to understand how e-scooters “fit into our transport network”

“An important part of this process will be to identify suitable locations and requirements to support the safe integration of this technology into the road network.

“We are considering the previous recommendations of the Electric Scooter Working Group, which included not using electric scooters on footpaths, establishing safe travel speeds and assessing their use within cycling infrastructure.”

It may shock many people to fund that it is currently illegal to ride an e-scooter in NSW anywhere other than on private property. Their use on the roads, on footpaths and at parks is illegal.

As with all things government, this is a long process, with a year long trial that may be very small, and expand within the trail period, it’s going to be 2023 before we find out where, when and how you can ride your electric scooter in NSW.

Other Australian states are in the same position, while some – notably Queensland do allow the scooters.