Legal liability will depend on who is at fault – the answer can be any of the following parties:
· E-scooter riders;
· Motor vehicle drivers/riders or businesses owning these vehicles;
· Cities, councils or other responsible regulatory authorities/public corporations/agencies;
· E-scooter hire companies and/or manufacturers;
Many issues remain for Australia’s regulators to adequately address in light of the fact that e-scooters do not meet Australian Design/Safety Standards for road use. As such, e-scooters cannot be registered as motor vehicles and are not covered by Compulsory Third Party(CTP) insurance schemes.
Road use regulations vary across Australia, but in most states and territories e-scooters are banned from public roads and can only be used on private property.
Outside of current trials underway in Brisbane and Adelaide, strict penalties may be imposed on e-scooter riders who unilaterally acquire and ride e-scooters in public spaces (e.g. footpaths, parks etc.) in contravention of existing state laws and local council regulations.
It is important to keep abreast of regulations in your local area. (Read more about current regulations throughout Australia, HERE).
Australia’s city leaders and regulators appear to be taking a prudent approach and are cautiously undertaking trials of e-scooters. It is commendable that they haven’t permitted swarms of e-scooters being released on citizens and our crowded and bumpy footpaths. They have also limited maximum speeds to 20km/h during trials.
However, many important issues need to be resolved to prevent a cascade of legal liabilities, personal injury and economic loss for communities broadly. Prime concerns include:
· How will pedestrian and rider safety best be maximised?
· Will e-scooter riders be afforded the same treatment as bicycle riders and be permitted to use dedicated bicycle lanes? Or will dedicated e-scooter zones be regulated?
· Where and under what conditions is it reasonable to permit e-scooters to co-mingle with pedestrians?
· What speeds and other precautions are deemed safe for e-scooters around pedestrians? Current Australian trials have limited maximum e-scooter speeds to 20km/h.
· What safety induction training or perhaps even licensing is appropriate?
· What limitations will be optimal for e-scooter interaction with motor vehicle traffic?
No doubt, trials of e-scooters are designed to address these and an ocean of related issues by providing experience-based data for all stakeholders to mould better policy and safer scooting conditions.
Trial periods do not mean however, that people injured in e-scooter accidents should remain uncompensated data-points.
Gajic Lawyers is a specialised personal injury law firm, operating Australia-wide. We understand the nuances of complex personal injury claims arising from e-scooter injuries.
If you have been injured in an e-scooter accident in Brisbane or Adelaide (either as a rider or member of the public) , our lawyers can cut through the often confusing issues related to your e-scooter personal injury entitlements. For your peace of mind, we undertake to do so on a no-win, no-fee basis.
Talk to us at your earliest convenience, we can certainly assist in maximising your compensation potential.
“Gajic Lawyers, where personal injury compensation is treated as a fundamental human right.”