The National Transport Commission (NTC) is investigating the barriers in the Australian Road Rules that prevent the safe and legal use of innovative vehicles and motorised mobility devices.
NTC Acting Chief Executive, Graham Giannini, said current regulations do not allow the use of innovative vehicles such as electric scooters, skateboards and unicycles on public roads and footpaths.
“Commuters want alternative forms of transport, yet we don’t have a national framework to accommodate new and emerging vehicles and devices,” Mr Giannini said.
“The investigation aims to find ways to encourage greater mobility and provide safe and easy access for complying innovative vehicles on Australian public infrastructure” he said.
The NTC is also reviewing the use of motorised mobility devices, such as motorised wheelchairs and mobility scooters, to determine whether current laws meet the needs of people with disabilities and mobility limitations, and provide optimal public safety.
“We estimate that there are at least 150,000 motorised mobility devices currently in operation in Australia, and there is confusion as to how they should be operated in public areas,” Mr Giannini said.
The NTC has published an issues paper which seeks comments from industry, regulators, the disability services sector, state and territory governments and individuals.
The issues paper can be downloaded from the NTC website. Submissions close on 28 February 2019. The NTC will then develop reform options and make policy recommendations to transport ministers in May 2020.