New South Wales Is Another State Where Self-Balancing Scooters Are Banned

Self-balancing scooter 1 photo
Photo: YouTube
As you may have heard, the United Kingdom is not excited about that Segway-without-a-stick lookalike self-balancing scooter that celebrities pose with nowadays. It’s not because they like to take gizmo lovers’ toys away, it’s just a matter of traffic safety. In the light of Christmas shopping, Australia's New South Wales’ officials have recently reminded their citizens they also don’t allow them on the street.
Before Australians say it, Minister of Roads Duncan Gay settled it: “I don’t want to be the Christmas Grinch, but I want people to know and send a message that these new toys have real safety concerns.”

The Road Transport Act says hoverboards can’t be registered on NSW roads, and riding one on the street implies the risk of a AUS$637 ($461 at the current exchange rate) fine. And they’re banned not just on the streets, since using one on sidewalks will set you back AUS$319 ($231 at the current exchange rate) in fines.

The news may upset some buyers considering some of these self-balancing scooters are being ordered with as much as a month in advance, especially if one buys it straight from China - where most of these “contraptions” are manufactured. However, riding the boards can be dangerous for the ones using them as well as for those legally using the street and the sidewalk.

Gay has said that even though they are motorized and can reach speeds of up to 26 kilometers/hour (16 miles/hour), they require no training to use. They also don’t have adequate brakes and don’t have lights or warning indicators, which makes the people riding the scooters unable to interact safely with other road users, like pedestrians.

As to any solutions, he adds, “Our road safety experts in the Centre for Road Safety are currently working with their counterparts across the country on national laws and safety standards for these personal electric transport devices, so we can figure out how and where people can use them safely.”
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