New WA eRideable Rules Could Change How You Use Hoverboards

New WA eRideable Rules Could Change How You Use Hoverboards
Photo: Universal Pictures

If you use an electric bike – or a hoverboard – and you live in Western Australia, the way you use your speedy companion will change next month, thanks to new legislation that will, among other things, set speed limits and introduce official safety features to the realm of ‘eRideables’.

New laws on the use of eRideables will come into effect on December 4.

eRideables are electric powered devices not capable of travelling faster than 25 km/h and include e-scooters, electric unicycles, electric skateboards, electric roller skates, one-wheel electric scooters and (yep) hoverboards.

To be considered an eRideable, the device has to be small and electric and have at least one wheel. It must also be less than 125cm long, 70cm wide and 135cm high and weigh under 25kg (without you on it, ofc). It also can’t be capable of speeds faster than 25km/h.

If the device/vehicle falls out of the eRideable definition? It’s considered a motor vehicle that must not be ridden on the road unless the vehicle is registered and the rider is licenced.

The WA government said the new eRideables laws will lead to greater consistency with other jurisdictions, reflecting recent amendments to the Australian Road Rules and ensure the state’s road rules keep up with changes in technology.

So what’s changing?

The new laws include:

  • the speed limit on bike and shared paths and local roads will be 25 km/h
  • the speed limit on footpaths and in pedestrian areas will be 10km/h
  • users will be required to give way to pedestrians and keep to the left of oncoming riders
  • you must be over 16 to ride
  • you must wear an approved helmet, use lights and reflectors at night and have a working warning device
  • the same mobile phone and drink and drug driving rules apply as for motor vehicle drivers.

Under existing Western Australian rules, children under the age of 16 years can use motorised scooters with a maximum power output of 200w and maximum speed of 10 km/h, however.

Where can’t I ride my eRideable?

It will be illegal to ride an eRideable on:

  • A carriageway with a dividing line
  • A carriageway with a speed limit exceeding 50km/h
  • A one-way carriageway with more than one marked lane

In addition to these new rules, the state government will also be pumping $265 million over the next four years into bike riding and walking infrastructure upgrades. Stay safe out there, friends.