Listen to a personal story about the potential dangers of riding an e-scooter.
Understand the basics
It is up to all of us to keep our roads and footpaths safe. Here’s some rules to help minimise the chance of a crash and the risk of serious injury. Significant fines apply, in some cases more than $1,000.
Always wear a helmet and fasten the straps
You must wear either an approved bicycle or motorcycle helmet to protect you from the risk of serious head injuries. Fines of more than $100 apply.
Don’t drink and ride
Don’t drink and ride. It is illegal to ride whilst intoxicated (drugs or alcohol), and extremely dangerous. Take the risk and you’ll get a date with a magistrate.
12km/h on footpaths and shared paths
Ride safely and slowly on paths where pedestrians may be present. Police enforce 12km/h speed limits on footpaths and shared paths. Fines of more than $500 may apply.
25km/h on bike paths and roads
25km/h is the maximum speed you can ride anywhere. Remember this is the limit, not a target. A safe speed may be much lower than this, depending on the conditions. Police enforce speed limits. Fines of more than $500 may apply.
Know where you can ride
Footpaths, shared paths and bike paths are ok. Also allowed on:
- local 50km/h or less roads with no road markings, or
- bike lanes on roads where the speed limit of the road is 50km/h or less or, where the bike lane is physically separated from the road.
Leave your phone alone when riding
It is illegal to hold your mobile phone or have it resting on any part of your body while riding a PMD. Fines of more than $1000 apply.
Doubling up on PMDs is not allowed
PMDs are built for one person only at a time. It’s against the law to carry another person, no matter how small, including children. Fines of more than $100 apply.
PMD riders must be 12 years old or older
They are designed for riders at least 16 years of age, or 12-15 years, with adult supervision2.
Be visible at night (light and reflector)
Your PMD must have working front and rear lights when travelling at night or in hazardous conditions.
Warn pedestrians as you approach
If your PMD has handlebars, like an e-scooter, you must have a bell fitted. Sound your bell respectfully to alert pedestrians as you approach. Slow down to pass.
Park your PMD in designated parking areas. Otherwise, park on the kerbside. Don’t block the path and keep clear of kerb ramps, building access and exits and tactile ground surface indicators. Do the right thing. Poor parking creates problems for other path users, particularly people with a disability.
General road rules apply
Obey the road rules including traffic lights and signs, keeping left on roads and giving way. Fines apply.
Stop and help at the scene of a crash
If you are involved in a crash with anyone, you must stop, remain at the scene and provide assistance to any injured person — this can include calling an ambulance. These obligations apply on all roads and road related areas.
Providing information after a crash
If you are involved in a crash, you must exchange contact details, including name and address, to any other driver involved in the crash, anyone else injured in the crash or the owner of any property damaged in the crash. These obligations apply on all roads and road related areas.
Avoid careless riding
It is an offence for a PMD or bike rider to ride without due care and attention on all roads and road-related such as footpaths, shared-paths and bikeways. Be conscious of the safety of path users and avoid riding behaviours that will put yourself and others at risk.
View the full rules and practical tips for using PMDs safely in the Tools & Tips section.
Where to ride
- Footpaths, shared paths, bike paths or the bike side of a separated footpath.
- PMDs can also use bike lanes on roads where the speed limit is 50km/h or less. Remember the maximum speed you can ride is still 25km/h.
- Any bike lane that is physically separated from the road, regardless of the speed limit (for example, the CityLink cycleway in the Brisbane CBD).
- Local streets where the speed limit is 50km/h or less and there is no dividing line or median strip.
- Any road for up to 50m to avoid an obstruction on a path or in a bike lane.
- Across a road via the shortest safe route. But if there is a crossing within 20m, you must use it.
- Don’t ride where these devices are prohibited.
- Always give way to pedestrians, and travel at a safe speed and distance from them. Ducking and weaving close to pedestrians is dangerous for both the pedestrian and PMD rider.
- Keep to the left while riding wherever possible.
Changes to PMD rules
New rules and increased penalties now apply for people riding personal mobility devices, such as e-scooters in Queensland. This includes new rules and penalties for careless riding and post-crash obligations on road related areas.
Other changes from 2022 include:
- Reducing speed limits to 12km/h on footpaths and shared paths, unless otherwise signed. The 25km/h limit remains for all other infrastructure, including bike infrastructure and local streets.
- Increasing fines of up to $1078 for dangerous offences involving speed, illegal road use and holding a mobile phone while riding.
- Allowing personal mobility devices to be ridden in bike lanes on roads with a speed limit of 50km/h or less, and all on-road bike lanes that are physically separated.
- Mandating bells for personal mobility devices with handlebars.
- Aligning personal mobility device riders with bike riders to ensure they are required to follow general road rules, such as stopping at red lights.
1 Preliminary emergency department injury data for period November 2018 – June 2021, commencing when hire e-scooters became available, for three Brisbane hospitals only.
2Small foot powered scooters with 200 watt max and 10km/h max motors are allowed for use by children of any age, and are classified as wheeled reactional devices.
The more powerful PMD e-scooters capable of higher speeds, such as those available by hire companies, are age limited to 12-15 years (with adult supervision) and 16 years and above (unsupervised). Learn more.