The Xmas safety warning for hover boards, scooters & unicycles

Victoria’s leading transport advocate RACV is calling for an overhaul of the legislation covering motorised and non-motorised recreational devices such as hover boards and unicycles labelling the current rules confusing and potentially unsafe.

A report by RACV has found a string of inconsistencies in the Victorian regulations covering Segway’s, hover boards, motorised unicycles, electric roller skates and skateboards, motorised eskies and children’s toys and golf carts.

RACV Manager Roads and Traffic, Dave Jones said the current regulations are flawed to the point they could compromise safety.

“Aside from the confusing component of the law we also found that with some of the devices weight limits were often not specified, age restrictions were rarely given and most devices did not provide safety information or even mention the safety gear required or recommended.”

“Currently most motorised recreational devices are defined as vehicles; however they can’t be fitted with a number plate or registered.  This means it is illegal for them to be used on public roads, nature strips, parks and footpaths.

Mr Jones said the evidence is that motorised recreational devices are growing in popularity.

“With Christmas just around the corner many of these devices will again be seen as the must-have item under the tree this year.

“Therefore it is pressing that we have clear guidance and regulations that ensure the safety of the user and other road users sooner rather later.”

“We must also consider that these emerging transport devices could one day provide an alternative to short car trips, so it is imperative the legislation is rock solid.

Mr Jones said a fall or impact with a car while on a recreational device can be as serious as one from a bicycle.

“Anyone who uses these recreational devices should not underestimate the safety issues.  If parents are buying them for their kids we recommend they buy the safety equipment at the same time.

“Always purchase approved helmet, knee and elbow pads and a good tip is to store the safety equipment with the device to make it easy for children to remember to use the gear every time,” he said.

Mr Jones said it is important for riders and parents to know where they can be used.

“Any device with a motor over 200 watts or that can go faster than 10km/hr can only be used on private property and is not allowed on roads, footpaths, bike paths or in parks.”

Written by Lynette Keogh, RACV Public Affairs, 9790 2572
November 10, 2016