What are e-scooters?
Those living, working or travelling through the CBD over the past week may have noticed a collection of bright green electric scooters scattered across the city.
A trial of California brand, Lime Scooters, has been approved by the Adelaide City Council for the 2019 Fringe season.
The e-scooters may only be operated in the Adelaide CBD or the riverfront precinct and allow the public to travel between different venues in a convenient manner.
The dockless scooters can be unlocked via the Lime app for $1.00. Riders are then charged 30 cents per minute once a ride is underway.
For the purposes of South Australian law, the e-scooters are being defined as “electric personal transporters” and are subject to a number of road rules and regulations.
E-Scooter Rules and Regulations
Riders of e-scooters must:
- Be aged 18 years or over.
- Wear an approved bike helmet.
- Ride on footpaths and share paths only unless otherwise prohibited.
- Only ride on a road when crossing or to avoid an obstruction and where required, for no more than 50 metres.
- Ride with proper care and reasonable consideration for all persons.
- Provide a warning via a bell, or horn to avert danger.
- Use a flashing or steady white light at the front of the scooter and a flashing red light and reflector at the back when riding at night or in hazardous conditions.
Riders of e-scooters must NOT:
- Exceed 15km/h.
- Ride abreast.
- Carry passengers.
- Use a mobile phone while riding.
- Carry scooters on public transport.
- Have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 or more or the presence of a drug in their system.
Failure to adhere to the prescribed road rules will result in the issuing of expiation notices by South Australia Police, with 10 notices already issued over the trial’s first weekend.
While riders do not require a driver’s licence to participate, SAPOL have and will impose penalties on a rider’s driver’s licence or learner’s permit where road rules or laws are broken.
A 22-year old woman was issued an immediate six month loss of licence for exceeding the prescribed concentration of alcohol while riding.
What if I’m involved in a collision while riding an e-scooter?
Riders involved in a collision while riding an e-scooter have been urged to contact the operator, Lime, who claim to hold significant public liability insurance.
Despite the company’s insurance, Lime reserves the right to hold riders fully responsible for all damages, losses, claims and liability arising from use of the scooter.
Users also agree to indemnify Lime against consequences, claims, liabilities, damages, injuries, penalties, legal fees and judgments of any kind or nature arising from a rider’s negligence.
Lime Scooter riders are not covered by Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance. Riders may, however, be covered by CTP insurance when involved in a collision with a vehicle and that vehicle is at fault.
While the e-scooters have proven both popular and convenient, the question of liability, should an accident occur, cannot be overlooked or understated.