E-scooter users across Queensland are being busted drinking booze while riding, hurtling through prohibited streets and even being towed, extreme sports-style, behind other vehicles.
The Courier-Mail can reveal more than $230,000 worth of fines have been issued to almost 2000 riders of Personal Mobility Devices – which includes Segways, hoverboards and most prominently e-scooters – over the last two years.
Among them were Queenslanders who were “drinking liquor while driving”, exceeding the 25km/h speed limit and one driver who was caught “being towed by (a) vehicle”.
It comes as Brisbane City Council begins decommissioning its City Cycle scheme this month, under a plan to replace the embattled venture with a fleet of hireable e-bikes.
Despite a rise in some more reckless offences – including speeding, using phones while riding and travelling in prohibited areas – the total amount of fines issued between January and September last year (528 fines, worth $74,226) was less than half the amount handed out during the same period in 2019 (1187 fines worth almost $159,137).
The decrease can be attributed to a massive decrease in fines for riders without helmets – with just 419 fines, worth $56,000 issued between January and September last year compared to the whopping 1043, or $137,000 worth of, fines for that offence the year before.
E-scooters have remained ever-popular across Brisbane with more than 3.5 million trips taken on Lime and Neuron scooters since their introduction in 2018.
Council will this month begin decommissioning its controversial City Cycle scheme in a bid to profit on the popularity, replacing its City Cycle fleet with 2000 hireable e-bikes.
Queensland Government sets laws for PMD use – including riding with helmets, not carrying passengers and not using phones while driving – while Queensland councils are able to issue local laws about the use of PMDs, including banning their use on certain streets.
Different laws apply to electric bikes.
Brisbane City Council has prohibited the use of PMDs in Queen Street Mall, Reddacliff Place, Brunswick Street Mall and Chinatown Mall, as well as on the pedestrian-only paths on the Victoria Bridge, the Go Between Bridge and at Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park and Kurilpa Point.
65 people were fined for riding PMDs in prohibited areas between January and September last year, compared to 102 the year before.
Queensland’s most costly PMD fine, $400 for using a mobile phone while riding, was slapped on 14 riders last year, while another 12 people were fined for carrying more than one person.
Six people were fined for exceeding the 25km/h speed limits – which a Budget Direct survey previously revealed more than half of Queenslanders agreed was too high.
Originally published as Busted: Why e-scooter riders fined $230,000