SAFETY concerns over the introduction of electronic scooters has elderly Canberra residents calling for lower speed limits for the popular vehicles around shopping centres and other high-pedestrian areas.
A partisan survey that was commissioned by the Canberra Liberals received more than 600 responses that also included issues with near misses with cars and pedestrians but a desire to lift distance limits that would eliminate the eyesore of e-scooters dumped on the streets.
“I started this survey because Canberrans clearly embrace e–scooters, but there was some concern raised about the safety of them; from users to pedestrians and drivers,” Canberra Liberal leader Elizabeth Lee said.
“A lot of older Canberrans say they feel unsafe at shopping centres. Not only do they have to worry about trip hazards on uneven pavements, but now they all need to look out for speeding e–scooters.
“It is strange that you can scoot through an arcade in Manuka at 25km an hour, while you are restricted to 15km an hour around the lake.”
Speed limits for e-scooters while riding on a shared path or bike path is currently 25km/h, but reduced to 15km/h for footpaths and down to 10km/h when using a crossing.
There is also restrictions on e-scooters travelling on the roads or on-road bicycle lanes – except on residential streets where there is no footpath.
Fines for breaking e-scooter laws can be up to $153 for an offence.
An investigation from “CityNews” in December found that one Canberran every second day required to seek medical treatment at a hospital after more than 60 reported cases.
The ACT Labor-Greens coalition government first gave approvals last year for e-operators Neuron and Beam to switch on 1500 combined orange and purple e-scooters in September.
A proposal from the survey feedback that speeds should be lowered in different areas after the e-scooters are already geofenced to control distance limits.
“The idea of further geofencing those high-pedestrian areas along with further road safety education seems to be the message we have received from those concerned,” Ms Lee said.