“They’re very quick,” he said.
The 12-month trial started in February – run by the Department of Transport and the Melbourne, Yarra and Port Phillip councils – and the e-scooters have so far been used millions of times. The trial will help the department decide how Victoria should regulate the use of privately owned scooters.
As of June this year, police said they were aware of 94 crashes involving e-scooters since the start of the year, but could not say how many had involved pedestrians.
The city’s hire-scooter trial has been controversial since it started in February after a number of crashes and widespread illegal use of the 1500 scooters on city footpaths.
Victoria Walks executive officer Dr Ben Rossiter said the enforcement action was welcome, but overdue, given the danger e-scooters present to visually impaired and elderly pedestrians.
“We’ve been asking for it all year,” he said, “the level of footpath riding is particularly concerning,” he said.
He said concerns about a loophole in the scheme that voids Lime and Neuron’s insurance if riders are not wearing helmets, riding on footpaths or have broken any other rule, that could leave injured by an e-scooter with medical bills and little recourse to recover costs.
“Walkers hit by riders have had over $10,000 in medical bills, loss of work and no insurance coverage because the rider has been doing something illegal, and often the rider doesn’t even stop.”