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1What is a personal mobility device (PMD)?

PMDs are small, electrically powered devices designed to transport one person over short to medium distances.

A device is a PMD if it is electrically powered and:

  • has at least one wheel
  • is less than 125cm long, 70cm wide and 135cm high
  • is less than 45kg
  • is not capable of travelling faster than 25km/h
  • is designed for use by one person.

The definition of a PMD aims to include a variety of micro-mobility technologies such as e-scooters, e-skateboards, self-balancing hoverboards and one-wheel devices.

Bicycles, motorised scooters, motorised wheelchairs, and wheeled recreational devices are not a PMD.

2Are motorised mobility scooters or wheelchairs a PMD?

No. Motorised wheelchairs, including motorised mobility scooters, are not a personal mobility device.

3Who can ride a PMD?

A person must be 16 years or older to ride a PMD.

Children under 16 will still be permitted to use low-powered e-scooters which do not exceed 200 watts and 10km/h.

4Do I need to wear a helmet?

Yes. All PMD users must wear an approved helmet.

5Where can I ride a PMD?

PMDs can be used on:

  • footpaths
  • shared paths
  • bicycle paths
  • local roads which have a speed limit of 50km/h or less, no dividing lines or median strip, and no multiple lanes if a one-way road.

Road managers, such as local councils, can also identify additional roads with a speed limit of 50km/h or less that PMDs can access. A list of these roads will be available on the relevant road manager’s website if they have declared any for PMDs to use.

PMDs cannot be ridden on a footpath where a ‘no personal mobility device’ sign has been installed.

6What are the speed limits for PMDs?

PMD users must not exceed:

  • 15km/h on footpaths
  • 25km/h on shared paths, bicycle paths and roads.

PMD users must also ride with due care and attention, as well as consideration for other road users. This means that even if users comply with the speed limits for PMDs, they may be liable for a fine if they are riding irresponsibly.

7Can I carry a passenger on a PMD?

No. PMDs are designed for use by one person and PMD users cannot carry a passenger or animal.

8How to share footpaths and roads with others

PMD users must:

  • give way to pedestrians on footpaths and shared paths
  • travel a sufficient distance from pedestrians in order to stop safely to avoid a collision
  • keep to the left unless overtaking or it is impracticable to do so
  • ride with due care and attention
  • ride with consideration for other road users.

9What are the rules for mobile phone and alcohol and drug use?

PMD users must not use their mobile phone while riding a PMD.

PMD users must not ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

10How will the rules for using a PMD be enforced?

Tasmania Police enforce road and traffic laws. PMD users may face penalties, such as a fine, if they do not follow the road rules. Police also have the power to temporarily confiscate a PMD.

11Can I ride a PMD at night?

PMDs must not be used at night unless the device or PMD user has:

  • a white light visible from the front of the PMD
  • a red light that is visible from the rear of the device
  • a red reflector visible from the rear of the device.

12Can I take my PMD on public transport?

Public transport operators will need to determine whether they will transport a PMD. The important consideration will be whether the PMD can be safely secured for transport.

13Do PMDs need to be registered or have insurance?

No. PMDs are not motor vehicles and therefore do not need to be registered or have third-party insurance. These are treated the same as bicycles and e-bikes.

Users of commercial ‘hire and ride’ operators should check the terms and conditions of their services for public liability insurance.

14What is being done for the safety of pedestrians?

Rules are in place for PMD users that consider the safety of pedestrians. This includes:

  • prohibiting PMDs from using footpaths in areas where there are lots of pedestrians by using signage
  • requiring PMD users to travel a safe distance from pedestrians so they can stop and avoid a collision
  • requiring PMD users to ride with consideration for other road users
  • lower maximum speed limit of 15km/h on footpaths.

In addition, e-scooters provided through commercial ‘hire and ride’ services have additional safety features such as:

  • geo-fencing technology that stops devices from accessing some areas or restricts them to a lower speed limit.
  • detectors for when a device has fallen or been left on its side.
  • pedestrian detection technologies.

Users of commercial ‘hire and ride’ operators should check the terms and conditions for specific operating conditions of these devices.

The Government has also committed reviewing the rules for PMDs in one year to ensure the rules are fit for purpose and address any issues that may emerge.

15Who do I contact about commercial ‘hire and ride’ operators?

Commercial ‘hire and ride’ operators provide e-scooters for hire under agreement with the relevant local council.

City of Hobart and City of Launceston are currently undertaking a 12 month trial of ‘hire and ride’ e-scooter technology.

16What happens if I have a PMD that doesn’t meet the regulations?

If you have a device that exceeds the PMD dimensions (125cm long, 70cm wide, 135 cm high or 45 kilograms in weight) or can go faster than 25km/h when powered by the motor on level ground, the device is a motor vehicle. Therefore, the device would not be a PMD, and would need to meet licensing and registration requirements. A motor vehicle must not be driven on public streets if it is not registered.

17What are the rules for e-bikes?

Bicycles, including e-bikes, are excluded from the definition of a PMD as they are already covered by existing legislation and Road Rules.

E-bikes are permitted under the Vehicle and Traffic Act 1999 and Road Rules 2019 they are either:

  • a bicycle with an auxiliary motor(s) with a power output or combined power output of not more than 200 watts
  • a ‘power-assisted pedal cycle’ as defined by the relevant Australian Design Rule (ADR), which is a maximum continued power output of 250 watts that progressively reduces as the cycle’s speed increases and cuts off where the cycle reaches a speed of 25km/h or the cyclist stops pedalling.