Finally, EUCs will be legal across ALL of Australia!
Australia's Transport and Infrastructure Council recently voted to amend the Australian Road Rules to include Personal Mobility Devices - a category that includes e-scooters, electric skateboards, and of course, electric unicycles (EUCs or EUNIs). This is the first time our devices are being officially recognised by the government, and is the biggest step in having consistent laws across Australia legalising their use!
Unfortunately it doesn't quite mean they're legal everywhere yet. I've compiled a few commonly-asked questions below - we will have more information available on our website and Facebook pages so do check us out.
Is it now legal to ride my device outside?
If you live in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia or the Northern Territory, it is still illegal to ride a PMD in a public area.
PMDs do not fit neatly within the categories of pedestrian, bicycle, wheeled toy, motorcycle or car, so there are no rules in place allowing you to ride on a footpath, shared path, cycleway or public road. If caught, a law enforcement officer can treat your vehicle as any of the above and issue anything from a fine for improperly using a footpath, through to driving an unregistered Class A motor vehicle, which can result in a fine, demerit points and the impounding of your device.
Will it be legal to ride my device in public?
With these new amendments to the Australian Road Rules, the intention is that every state and territory will have the same consistent rules allowing us to legally use our devices on public footpaths, shared paths, cycleways and local roads.
Though the ARRs are model laws and not legally binding, it has historically been very rare that an amendment has been endorsed by the Transport and Infrastructure Council (comprising of the transport ministers from each state) but then rejected or significantly altered by a state or territory.
There is a high likelihood that every state will legalise the use of PMDs in line with the ARR rules.
What can we do to speed up the process?
Now is the time to start writing in to your own State members of parliament, urging them to implement these amendments as soon as possible. Join our volunteers and insiders group on Facebook and share any letters you have written, as well as any responses you have received. We will also post up some templates you can use.
In the coming weeks we will also be launching petitions for each state where PMDs have yet to be legalised. These petitions will be tailored for each jurisdiction, targeting the members of parliament that will make the biggest difference.
We will also be launching a large video and social media marketing campaign, with positive messages to promote PMD use and rally the Australian public behind the movement. Having a groundswell of public support is what will make a difference between having legalisation soon, and legalisation 2-3 years away.
Jonno is a recent convert to electric unicycles, and he also chairs Electric Riders Australia - a non-profit advocacy group providing a united voice for all electric Personal Mobility Device owners, riders and businesses, and calling for the legalisation of these PMDs Australia.