A move to allow the use of e-scooters in Canberra is gaining momentum, as the government considers whether people should be permitted to ride them on roads.
Changes to the ACT government's road rules are needed to make the use of e-scooters legal in public areas, as they are currently banned from roads and footpaths.
Road Safety Minister Shane Rattenbury will on Tuesday launch a discussion paper seeking people's views on what restrictions the government should place on e-scooter use.
The government needs to decide where people should be allowed to ride them - for example on roads or footpaths - what the speed limit should be, and who should be able to use them.
Other states and countries have a range of different laws regarding the use of e-scooters.
France is planning on banning them from footpaths later this year after a rise in accidents and growing complaints about share scheme scooters being dumped on streets.
In Queensland, e-scooters are allowed to travel on footpaths, shared paths, bicycle paths and roads with speed limits of 50km/h or less and without dividing lines.
"E-scooters and similar devices are currently not permitted to be used in public areas in the ACT - however people are keen to use these new types of personal transportation devices," Mr Rattenbury said.
"We need to make sure our regulations keep pace with these new technologies.
"E-scooters and the like are an interesting new means of transportation that could help people be more mobile in a sustainable way, that can also be fun.
"Importantly, transport options like e-scooters can help people avoid car trips, connect to public transport, and be more active. They can provide benefits for the environment such as reducing pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and noise.
"It is important that e-scooters and similar devices are appropriately regulated to ensure they are used safely and that we minimise the potential for injuries or other conflicts.
"Over the next few weeks the government is seeking community feedback on how we can facilitate the safe use of electric scooters and similar devices in the ACT, while making sure we don't compromise road safety."
At a minimum, the government will require the use of an approved bicycle helmet, no mobile phone use and no alcohol impairment, similar to the Queensland model, the discussion paper said.
It said most e-scooter safety concerns centred on speed, pointing to data collected in Queensland.
After the introduction of e-scooters there, data from two of the central hospitals showed 109 patients were treated as a result of accidents.
A speed above 30km/h was involved in 28 per cent of incidents, while the same percentage had not been wearing a helmet.
About 16 per cent had been drinking alcohol and an upper limb fracture was the most common injury.
The government will also consider whether age restrictions should be applied, like in Queensland where use is limited to people over 12 years of age under adult supervision, and to people over 16 years of age unsupervised.
Current penalties for using an e-scooter in the ACT can be significant. Infringement notices can include a penalty of $151 for using an e-scooter, $600 for using an unregistered vehicle and $903 for using an uninsured, the discussion paper said.
Changing the laws could pave the way for popular e-scooter rideshare operators to come to Canberra.
Mr Rattenbury said a separate exercise will be undertaken to develop a legislative framework for commercial operators of dockless share schemes for e-scooters and bikes.
Electric scooters are an emerging mode of inner-city transportation. US company Lime has launched vehicles in Queensland and New Zealand, and will soon conduct a trial in Adelaide.
- Consultation will run for four weeks, and submissions are invited at: yoursay.act.gov.au.