The ACT government is moving towards legalising e-scooters but hasn't decided whether they should be allowed on roads with cars or on paths with pedestrians and cyclists.
After a public consultation, Road Safety Minister Shane Rattenbury said he would be "developing a framework that encourages the use of e-scooters, while not compromising on road safety".
At the moment, the battery-powered two-wheelers are illegal in the ACT - though they can be seen around the territory. Allowing them would require a change in the law, which the government reckons could be done by December.
The government said its consultation had 670 responses and they indicated "strong support".
It classified some of its responses as follows:
- People over 16 years of age should be allowed to ride these devices unsupervised (47 per cent support);
- The maximum speed should be 25km/h (36 per cent support) with speed restrictions dependent on location (eg slower speed on footpaths and faster speeds in bicycle lanes). 44 per cent of those surveyed would prefer a lower speed, under 25km/h;
- Use of bicycle lanes is supported (89 per cent) as well as use on footpaths (75 per cent);
- There is strong support for e-scooter and similar device use, particularly for connecting to and from public transport;
- 86 per cent said that these devices should be allowed on public transport.
Mr Rattenbury plans to consult transport experts to identify any dangers.
But it seems clear he wants to go ahead, saying the discussion would be "to help shape how we can allow their use in Canberra by the end of this year".
"Aside from being zippy and fun, e-scooters are a sustainable form of travel, especially as the ACT will soon have 100 per cent renewable electricity that can be used for recharging," he said enthusiastically.
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"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."
They were allowed in Brisbane last year. A university study concluded: "Of the e-scooters observed during the four days, 45 per cent were being ridden illegally because either the rider was not wearing a helmet properly, riding on the road or carrying a passenger."
About 120 people were reported to have been taken to hospital with injuries related to scooter use in the first two months after their introduction.