Electric skateboards are gaining popularity in Australia despite the existence of other popular vehicles or devices such as e-scooters.
All six states of the country, which is also a continent, have released guidelines relevant to the use of e-skates in public places. That’s why it’s easier to conclude whether electric skateboards are legal in Australia or not, unlike Asia and its rules on e-skates[Are Electric Skateboards Legal in Asia] that are way too limited for such a massive area.
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Electric Skateboarding in Australia
New South Wales
Powered skateboards are illegal in New South Wales, according to the Transport for NSW. They should only travel on private properties since they’re not fit for registration as road vehicles. They’re widely considered to be a lot more dangerous than normal skateboards.
On the other hand, conventional skateboards are legal in the state. As long as they’re always on the left side of footpaths, on bike lanes (if separated from pedestrian lanes), and for daytime use only by adult skaters wearing appropriate helmets, the authorities won’t have a problem with them.
Because of the huge difference in how traditional and electric skateboards are perceived by the authorities, e-skate enthusiasts or commuters in Sydney are using a specific type of board. Based on a news report from the Brisbane Times, they’re specifically riding electric skateboards with very slim decks and perfectly concealed motors to disguise them as regular boards.
Despite electric skateboards being illegal for public use, they’re still in demand. Many Australians are more than willing to spend thousands of dollars for the best electric skate board that can make their daily commutes easier.
According to the Queensland Police, motorized devices with wheels such as electric skateboards are legal in some roadways and footpaths as long as the skater always moves to the left. Highways are off-limits.
Also, electric skateboard riders shouldn’t be younger than 16 years old. They must always wear a helmet as well. Each violation can cost approximately $45.
The Department for Infrastructure and Transport in South Australia prohibits the use of motorized skateboards on the roads, parking lots, bicycle tracks, pedestrian lanes, and footpaths. The fines for violating this rule can be related to the possession of an unregistered vehicle and the lack of a valid driver’s license.
Considering how electric skateboards work[How Do Electric Skateboards Work], even some authorities agree that they can be categorized as motor vehicles. However, they can’t be registered due to their failure in meeting general road safety standards. That’s why they’re only allowed on private properties regardless of their default safety features.
On the other hand, conventional skateboards are allowed on some roads as well as most parks, pedestrian lanes, bicycle tracks, and footpaths. Skaters in the state are encouraged to use regular boards only, not electronic ones.
In 2009, the Department of State Growth in Tasmania released new rules on motorized scooters. It didn’t specifically mention electric skateboards, but e-skate users in the state nowadays can get ideas from the modified regulations. That’s because the new law for e-scooters is similar to the rules for ordinary skateboards.
The main condition is that the device’s motor must not exceed 200 watts. This will allow the skater to access certain roads and paths. The rider must wear an appropriate helmet, too.
The single rule for motorized skateboard users in Victoria is straightforward–they’re not allowed in public areas at all. To be more specific, according to VicRoads, public roads and footpaths are off-limits to electric skateboards.
Based on the statement of the Department of Transport in Western Australia, the public lanes, paths, and roads in the state shouldn’t be accessed by electric skateboards. The average power and speed of e-skates are just too risky for the authorities, hence the device is allowed in private places only.
The Legality of Electric Skateboards in Australia
Overall, electric skateboards are illegal in most places in the country. E-skate riders who are present in public areas like main roads and footpaths can be penalized by the authorities with expensive fines. Traveling on private properties is the safest way for e-skate enthusiasts to enjoy the activity without consequences.