Commissoner's Blog: Unwrap eRideable rules before gifting one
Electric scooters, skateboards and hoverboards will no doubt appear under many Christmas trees this year, however there’s a very good reason why families should avoid buying eRideables as gifts for their children this festive season.
While they may be an increasingly popular and fun way to get around, the reality is that eRideables are not toys and they are capable of causing very serious injuries if used incorrectly.
The number of eRideable crashes involving riders under 16 years have doubled each year since 2017, according to Perth Children’s Hospital data. Research indicates that children under 16 typically lack the cognitive ability to operate a motor vehicle. Brain trauma in children as a result of crashes can also be catastrophic, due to the malleable nature of the growing brain.
For this reason, only people aged over 16 years are legally allowed to ride eRideables – which are defined as a small electric rideable device with at least one wheel, weighing 25kg or less, with a maximum speed of 25km/h and is less than 125cm long, 70cm wide and 135cm high.
Only one person per device is allowed and eRiders should only travel at a speed of up to 10km/hr on footpaths, up to 25km/hr on bicycle paths, shared paths and local roads, and are not allowed to be ridden on roads with a speed limit over 50km/h. Children under 16 should only ride low-powered electric scooters that do not exceed 200w or 10km/h.
Helmets are compulsory and so too is giving way to pedestrians, keeping left, using a bell or verbal warning when approaching path users and the use of lights and reflectors when riding at night.
To help ensure consumers – particularly parents, make informed choices when purchasing an eRideable, we have joined forces with the Road Safety Commission and Western Australian retailers to promote important safety messaging. As part of the ‘Make every eRide safe’ campaign, retailers have been given access to free in-store promotional materials designed to raise awareness of eRideable safety on both sides of the sales counter.
Another safety issue involving eRideables is their lithium-ion batteries, which can catch fire if overcharged, damaged or not approved for use in Australia. It is recommended to unplug eRideables as soon as a full charge is reached, charge outdoors and out of direct sunlight and only use the charger provided, or purchase the same brand of charger if buying a second-hand device.
Further information about eRideables can be found on the Road Safety Commission website. Consumers who believe they have been misled should try to resolve the issue with the retailer first, but if unresolved, can contact Consumer Protection by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 30 40 54.
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