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Esk8 is illegal in public places in Australia. Thoughts and experiences?


#1

So since I got into esk8 a few months ago I’ve been under the impression that electric skateboards fall into the “Wheeled Recreational Devices” category and were therefore legal on footpaths not specifically prohibiting skateboards/rollerblades/etc and roads with a speed limit of 50km/h or less, no centre markings and no median strip. I’ve ridden my board on footpaths and the road a number of times and so far no one has paid me much attention (though little kids like to point and yell “daddy! daddy! look!”). It’s been fun and a great way for me to get at least a small amount of exercise in my lunch break without coming back horribly sweaty.

Just now I discovered (through my own research) that esk8s are actually specifically prohibited on all public footpaths and roads (at least in NSW, QLD and VIC). I believe this must have changed sometime in the last year or so. This obviously sucks because I now know that I’m technically breaking the law. NSW (my state) is of course the dumbest and most “nanny state” of them all, and even specifically prohibits segways on footpaths. That’s insane. I think it goes without saying that people in suits that only drive BMWs and want the entire road to themselves are not the best people to be making these laws.

I know there’s at least a few Aussie esk8rs on this forum. What are your thoughts on this? Do you specifically try to avoid being seen by police? What are your experiences? Have you ever been pulled over? Fined? Board confiscated? etc.

Right now I’m just trying to decide if I should keep spending money on my board (which I can’t legally use anywhere except private property) or if I should not risk it and just part it out and sell it. Alternatively I could start working towards making it into a mountainboard, since I do actually live on 20 acres and have a bushland behind our property with some good fire trails. I’d appreciate any suggestions as well.


#2

I have been skating in Sydney for almost two years now and have done almost 2000km I skate to work in the cbd each day. I skate past the police station every day. Never had any issues. Occasionally they will do a blitz. For example they had cops set up across the Anzac bridge and a couple of eskaters got caught. I think it was an 80 fine.

Its all about approach. Dont act like an ass and no one will bother you. The cops have far more important things to do then fine you. So dont speed through darling harbour. Or skate on inappropriate roads. There will be others here that have had issues with cops in Sydney. But I think everyone would say it’s very rare. Wear a helmet. Skate sensibly and I also wear a bell (stupid Sydney cycling law) that way I feel far more comfortable.


#3

I’m in northern NSW so not Sydney, but from doing some more googling it sounds like that’s the experience most people have. As long as you’re not a moron about it you should be fine. I also always wear a helmet, both for my own protection and to appear as though I’m being sensible (which I am).

Thanks for sharing :slight_smile:


#4

“Don’t be an asshole” covers most situations, but it sure is annoying that sometimes the cleanest (and safest to everyone around you) non-animal-powered transportation ever invented is sometimes still prohibited.


#5

Screenshot of legislation saying its illegal?


#6

I can’t give you that. Despite some googling I have been unable to work out if it’s possible to find specific bits of legislation without already knowing the name to search for. The best I can do is this, from the NSW RTA (or RMS, whatever it is now) page:

The QLD page also specifically states motorised skateboards are prohibited, but in a decidedly less professional way. You do bring up a good point (that the RMS page might not be accurate, which is what I assume you’re implying) but since I don’t have any better way to find the current laws I tend to just assume the page is correct.

I’ve decided I’ll continue esk8ing in the same fashion as before (especially considering how much money I’ve put into this so far), but being prepared for potentially being fined or having my board confisk8ted. I’ll probably start working towards a mountainboard as well anyway because that sounds like a crap tonne of fun :stuck_out_tongue:


#7

Unsure about anywhere else in Aus but Melbourne has a pretty sizable group of riders with a Facebook page etc which include a couple cops so it’s obviously not really a major issue there :slight_smile:


#8

Well that’s pretty encouraging haha.


#9

Not providing people an option to use an excellent form of transportation is unrealistic. Law makers need to realize taking people off the roads in cars makes life easier all around. It seems the comprise would be either road or sidewalks but make limits to it. Like if you’re on the road you follow bike rules. If on the sidewalk make it so pedestrians have the right away or set a speed limit to protect other people if someone riding an electric vehicle runs into them. Just saying “no” is weak.


#10

I completely agree with everything you said. Small electric personal transportation is a very realistic vision for the future. Not to replace cars, but to supplement them and reduce our reliance on them for short distance travel. Luckily, in a similar way to how the iPhone and subsequent explosion of mobile internet use through smartphones forced lazy software developers to once again start taking notice of the amount of data their software used, the slow but sure move towards more eco-friendly cities will force law-makers to begin to find ways to integrate alternate forms of transportation into the current system. It gives us a strong argument for the inclusion of electric skateboards and other very small electric vehicles as legitimate and legal methods of transportation.


#11

I’m in Aus and haven’t had any trouble with police or anything like that, although I do live in a rural area. There is actually 3 esk8ers where I live and the town has less than 30000 people

Can someone drop a link for the Melbourne group, I might be able to come down for a ride sometime


#12

I also live in a rural area. The town I work and skate in has a bit over 5000 people, and the village where I live has about 6 houses :stuck_out_tongue:


#13

What state you in?


#14

NSW
10char


#15

Oh yeah I remember you saying that in the post above lol, anywhere near vic? I’m close to the border


#16

Ha nope, about as far away from Victoria as you can get without going to QLD. Right at the top of NSW, about 1.5 hours from the border :stuck_out_tongue:

I bought my car from Melbourne and drove it all the way back in 2 days though. That was a long drive.


#17

Yeah would have been


#18

I am no Aussie but in the liberal city, I usually play it safe on streets by going barely faster than your average pedaler. The cops will just pass you off as normal longboarder. :grinning:
I think these rules really apply to people like @Mattmccrary8 :bullettrain_side: :police_car:


#19

I have not heard this before :thinking:


#20

Shit I’d hit a trail and evade the cops with how much speed my boards have