In October, the Queensland Government introduced new laws to improve the safety of e-scooter and other Personal Mobility Devices (PMD). The proposed laws will make it an offence for the rider of a PMD or bike to ride without due care and attention on a road-related area, such as a footpath, bike path or shared path.

The Brisbane Central Business District Bicycle User Group (CBD BUG) has accused the Transport Minister, Mark Bailey of declaring “open season” on those who opt for two-wheeled modes of transport over cars.

The changes involve the imposition of a hefty fine for those caught riding without due care on footpaths, further extending the fines under the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995.

The new section, 84AA, specifically targets individuals who operate bicycles or personal mobility devices without due care and attention on road-related areas, which includes footpaths. Offenders could face a maximum penalty of 40 points, equivalent to a substantial monetary fine.

Brisbane CBD BUG argues that this is a harsh approach that fails to recognise the vastly different circumstances and risks faced by riders compared to motorists. CBD BUG argues that unlike those behind the wheel of cars, cyclists and scooter riders are not protected by glass and steel cages, airbags, and other safety features that cars offer. Moreover, e-bikes and e-scooters are speed-limited, reducing their ability to keep up with traffic.

Brisbane CBD BUG spokesman Paul French believes that this new rule unfairly targets riders who, in many cases, have no choice but to use footpaths either due to legal requirements or concerns about their safety on the road. Many argue that this rule change may discourage riders from using bikes and scooters altogether, potentially pushing them back onto Queensland’s already dangerous roads.

“One of the very few concessions for bicycle riders in Queensland is that in contrast to most other states and territories – this state’s road rules allow people to cycle on the footpath. Many motorists like this because it gets bicycle riders out of their way. But a likely outcome of this ill-considered rule change is it may encourage riders back onto Queensland’s dangerous roads. The introduction of this draconian new fine means many riders are now discussing if riding is worth it,” Mr French said.

One primary concern among riders is that they can receive these fines even if they haven’t been involved in a collision. Unlike speeding offences that rely on objective measurements, they says that applying this new fine relies on the subjective judgment of police officers, who can issue fines for any reason they deem fit.

Riders now face the possibility of challenging these infringements in court, incurring additional costs and anxiety. Critics argue that this new law leaves room for potential abuse by law enforcement, citing recent instances of riders being fined for minor infractions.

A shared walking and cycling path
Queensland Walks advocates for safe and segregated lanes.

Executive Officer for Queensland Walks, Anna Campbell, said her organisation supports changes that will improve the safety and comfort for people walking, rolling and strolling “and especially for those walkers who currently feel more vulnerable on footpaths since the uptake of e-scooters and faster delivery riders.”

Ms Campbell said the State Government’s changes should be managed in unison with increased funding to build wider and more comfortable footpaths and safe and segregated lanes for bikes and e-mobility devices, especially in busy pedestrian areas, tourism hubs, and city and town centres.

“To reduce congestion, we need to make sure we continue to encourage all forms of active transport and ensure people who are walking and riding feel safe, comfortable and encouraged to continue to walk or ride.”

“Most riders are very careful and will not receive a fine, however we can’t ignore some of the poor behaviour of riders on footpaths and shared paths especially since the introduction of e-scooters and delivery riders.”

In 2021, Queensland Walks conducted a Walking with E-scooters survey, which showed that many people walking changed the location of their walks and the time of day they walked because of riders on footpaths, risky rider behaviour and fear of being knocked over.

Ms Campbell said Queensland Walks supports the recent call from the Queensland Tourism Industry Council to forge ahead with safe segregated lanes for riders and far better space for people walking.

In response to concerns raise by cycling advocacy groups, a spokesperson for the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) said the proposed laws aim to enhance safety for all road users and fill regulatory gaps regarding bikes, e-scooters, and personal mobility devices. The government argues that these laws enable riders to choose the safest place to ride based on their comfort level and the available infrastructure.

The TMR spokesperson said it is already an offence for a bike or personal mobility device (PMD) rider to ride without due care and attention on roads. 

“The proposed amendment ensures this offence also applies on road-related areas, such as footpaths and bike paths, where bicycles and PMDs are often used. For comparison, drivers of motor vehicles must already drive with due care and attention in all public places, including roads and paths.

The spokesperson said, “riding with due care and attention” means to be conscious of the safety of other road or path users.

“What constitutes an offence will depend on the individual circumstances of an incident.”

However, some examples offered by the Department include dangerously swerving in and out of pedestrians on a crowded path, or riding at an unsafe speed around a blind corner where pedestrians and other vulnerable users might be present.

“Any instance of careless riding on a path that leads to a pedestrian or other vulnerable user being injured, or worse, is unacceptable. Despite significant under-reporting, data from the Jamieson Trauma Institute and the Queensland Police Service confirms that there have been serious incidents with tragic consequences. A range of relevant stakeholders support the proposed new laws, including PMD and cycling advocacy groups.”

Further Information

Rules for e-scooters and other PMDs can be found at

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