Everybody’s talking about hoverboards. Russell Crowe boycotted Virgin after the airline prohibited him bringing his kids’ segway boards as luggage. Mike Tyson fell off his hoverboard. And most recently, diocese authorities suspended a Filipino priest after footage of him conducting Christmas Eve Mass on a hoverboard went viral.
However, most people don’t know that using hoverboards in certain areas can attract a hefty fine. Below, we outline the different positions of each state and territory in Australia regarding the use of hoverboards.
New South Wales
Currently, no one is allowed to ride their self-balancing scooter on any road or road-related area, such as footpaths or strips adjacent to roads. Ignoring these rules can lead to a $319 fine for riding on a footpath, or $637 fine for riding on a road. It is only legal to ride your self-balancing scooter on private property.
In NSW, self-balancing scooters fall within the definition of a ‘motorised vehicle’ and as such, users need to register their hoverboards. Hoverboards, however, do not comply with vehicle safety standards and consequently, are difficult to register. At present, people should know that they shouldn’t ride their hoverboards in public areas.
A self-balancing board is considered a motor vehicle and requires registration, licensing and compliance with road rules if it has a motor that either:
- Exceeds 200 watts; or
- Can travel faster than 10km/hr.
Without registration, it can only be ridden on private property.
Hoverboards are classified as wheeled recreational devices and can be used on footpaths and public areas (unless signed otherwise) if their motor doesn’t either:
- Exceed 200 watts; and
- Can’t travel faster than 10km/hr.
You cannot use a hoverboard in Queensland in the following circumstances:
- On roads with a designated speed limit higher than 50km/hr;
- On a one-way road with more than one lane;
- On a road with a centre line or median strip; or
- On a road at night.
In Tasmania, users can ride hoverboards with less than 200 watts of power in the motor on:
- Footpaths; and
- Roads where the speed limit is 50km/hr or under, during daylight hours.
Australian Capital Territory
It is illegal to use a hoverboard on a footpath or road in the ACT. Users can only ride hoverboards on private property.
In Western Australia, users must register their hoverboard as a motorcycle if its motor has more than 200 watts of power, and can travel more than 10km/hr. However, if the hoverboard doesn’t exceed these limits, then they may be used on the following:
- Footpaths (except for the pedestrian lane of a separated footpath); or
- Local roads where the speed limit is not more than 50 km/hr, and not on roads where there is a median strip or more than one lane.
Importantly, before making like Marty McFly and purchasing your hoverboard, research your State’s or Territory’s rules regarding their use. If you are allowed to use your hoverboard, then make sure you comply with their restrictions for use, including:
- The types of roads that you can and can’t ride on; and
- Whether or not you must wear a helmet (but, we strongly recommend a helmet and protective gear anyway!)
Questions? Get in touch on 1300 544 755.