You can talk to a lawyer for free at Tasmania Legal Aid.
To get free legal information call 1300 366 611 or use the Legal Talk chat from the bottom right hand corner of this website. Legal Talk and our phone lines are available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
A lawyer can help you with:
- advice if you are charged by the Police
- working out whether doing something is illegal.
What are electric vehicles?
Most people are familiar with electric cars but there are several other electric vehicles that are becoming more popular such as:
Different laws apply to different types of electric vehicles.
When can I ride an e-Scooter or e-Skateboard?
Electric scooters (e-Scooters) and electric skateboards (e-Skateboards) are called “personal mobility devices” (PMD) and they are not considered “motor vehicles”. Because they are not “motor vehicles” they do not require either a licence or registration to ride them.
Even though you don’t need a licence to drive them there are still rules that apply:
- You must be at least 16 years old
- You must wear an approved helmet
- The PMD must be designed to carry only one person
- You cannot take a passenger or animal on the PMD
- The PMD cannot go over 15km an hour on a footpath
- The PMD cannot go over 25km and hour on a road,
- The PMD cannot be capable of going more than 25kmh on a flat surface,
- It cannot weigh more than 45kgs, and
- It cannot have any sharp points sticking out that may cause injury.
When can’t I use an e-Scooter?
There are a few situations where you are not allowed to ride an e-scooter or e-skateboard:
- If you are less than 16 years old,
- If there is a central dividing line on the road (unless the road is declared a PMD safe zone)
- If the road has a speed limit of more than 50kmh
- If it is a one-way road with more than one land (unless it is declared a PMD safe zone)
- If the road is a PMD free zone
- If being towed by another vehicle
- While holding a mobile phone in your hand.
If you do any of these you could be fined.
What should I do when I am riding my e-Scooter?
- Always wear a helmet
- Always stay as far to the left as possible on any road you are riding on
- Never ride with more than 1 person next to you (only 2 abreast)
- If you are riding on the footpath, give way to all pedestrians and leave enough space so that you avoid hitting into them
- Don’t drive over 15kmh on the footpath or 25kmh on a road or bike path
- Obey all traffic lights that apply to vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles
- Always ride with care and be considerate to other road users.
What about riding at night?
If you are riding a PMD at night you need to make sure you have a white forward-facing light and a red light on the back. Both lights must be visible for at least 200m. You also need to have a red reflector on the back of the PMD which is visible for 50m.
Are e-Bikes treated the same as e-Scooters?
E-bikes are treated differently to e-scooters and e-skateboards. They are covered by all of the standard rules that apply to bicycle riders.
If a bicycle has an electric motor fitted to it the motor must have less than 200watts of power or it will be considered a “motor vehicle”. If your e-bike is considered a motor vehicle you would need to have it registered and have the relevant licence to drive it.
What if I fit a larger motor to my device?
It is important that you do not fit engines that have greater power than are allowed. If you do you may be charged with various criminal offences including driving an unregistered motor vehicle and driving without a licence. These charges can result in criminal convictions, licence disqualification, fines and potential jail sentences.