E-Scooter Safety Heightens Concerns Following Fortitude Valley Collision

A woman in her 40s sustained serious injuries after a collision involving her e-scooter and a cement truck at the intersection of Wickham St and Brunswick St in Fortitude Valley. From 38 cases in 2018 to over a thousand cases in 2022 and even more this year based on partial figures for 2023, the rising number of injuries related to e-scooter use have made public safety a critical discussion point.

Emergency services responded to the Fortitude Valley incident swiftly, offering immediate medical attention before transferring the injured woman to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. Thankfully, while serious, her injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

This November 22 incident is part of a troubling rise in e-scooter accidents, sparking a deeper examination of their usage and the pressing need for improved safety measures.

Statistics from the Queensland Injury Surveillance Unit paint a concerning picture of the increasing trend in e-scooter-related injuries across Queensland in recent years:

  • 2018 (November to December): 38 cases
  • 2019: 288 cases
  • 2020: 386 cases
  • 2021: 706 cases
  • 2022: 1033 cases
  • 2023 (January to July): 716 cases
E-scooter injury types in a study conducted by Dr Cassandra Peace, Dr Dexter Rubio, and Dr Gary Mitchell
Photo Credit: Herston Health Precinct Symposium 2021 / CLIN-0039

This steady surge has alarmed safety experts and organisations, triggering discussions on crucial measures to enhance e-scooter safety across the region.

One major discussion point concerns the necessity for distinct operating environments that offer separation from faster motor vehicles while ensuring safety for cyclists and pedestrians. Achieving this hinges on determining permissible e-scooter speeds and regulating the speed of motorised vehicles and bicycles in these areas.

In response to mounting concerns, recent discussions on e-scooter scheme regulations consider implementing electronic speed control mechanisms. These mechanisms could enforce lower speeds or lockouts in high-risk zones, especially those with heavy pedestrian activity. 

However, challenges persist concerning privately owned e-scooters, potentially limiting the influence on their usage.

Proposals in the ongoing review by the National Transport Commission advocate for mandatory comprehensive insurance for e-scooters. Additionally, there are calls for installing speedometers on e-scooters, enabling users to adhere to designated speed restrictions.

Efforts are also underway to tackle e-scooter parking issues. Suggestions include technological constraints on parking locations as part of e-scooter scheme permits.

Furthermore, discussions involve penalties, such as confiscating privately owned e-mobility devices, to regulate proper parking practices and reduce obstructions in public spaces.

The focus remains on developing a comprehensive approach encompassing regulatory measures, infrastructure enhancements, and increased user awareness. This incident emphasises the urgent need to address these concerns and implement effective strategies to enhance e-scooter safety across Brisbane and beyond.

Residents of Fortitude Valley are urged to stay informed and engaged in these crucial discussions for a safer environment for all road users.

Published 4-December-2023

Police Launches Crackdown On E-scooter Riders In CBD, Fortitude Valley

The Safe Night Precincts, which includes Fortitude Valley, will be among the target areas of an e-scooter crackdown operation underway in Queensland.   

Read: On-Street Parking Meters Now Back in Use

The blitz, which commences on 20 June 2022, aims to crack down on people riding in a dangerous manner, which might mean speeding, using a mobile phone, carrying passengers or not wearing a helmet.

Photo credit: Boris Mayer/Pixabay 

Authorities will focus on riders coming to and from work in Brisbane’s CBD and will then move to the Safe Night Precincts (SNP), where they will target drink riders before targeting other areas in the region.

SNPs were created as a Queensland Government initiative to reduce late-night drug and alcohol-related violence. 

According to the Brisbane City Road Policing, more incidents have been recorded within the city precincts where people are driving riding e-scooters whilst intoxicated, and this is causing a problem for them and the city’s hospitals.

Boundary of Safe Night Precincts in Fortitude Valley (Photo credit: www.publications.qld.gov.au

The region-wide operation is expected to last until November 2022, when the new e-scooter rules will be officially implemented.

The reforms will see speed limits slashed on footpaths from 25 kilometres an hour to 12kph, mandating warning devices (like bells), enforcement of non-complying devices, increased penalties for high-risk offences, and clearer signage where e-scooters can be or can’t be parked.

The Queensland Government will also roll out an education campaign focusing on rider safety, wearing a helmet, how to overtake pedestrians and how to park e-scooters.

Photo credit: Shary Reeves/Pixabay 

When it was first announced in February 2022, police conducted an operation targeting personal mobility devices in Brisbane City and Fortitude Valley areas. Around 84 people were issued traffic infringements and the majority of them failed to wear a helmet without an exemption.

Based on the State Government’s rules on personal mobility devices or rideables, it’s a must to wear an approved bicycle helmet that is securely fitted, at all times, unless an exemption has been granted for medical or religious reasons.

E-scooters are being reminded to follow the rules and stay vigilant on the road, as tougher penalties will be in place for high-risk offences, such as speeding, using a mobile phone while riding, and riding on prohibited roads.