It’s a jungle out there

THE former chairman of the Perth Zoo and WA Conservation Commission has called for a ban on e-scooters in Hyde Park after almost getting mowed down by one while walking there.

Brian Easton wrote to the City of Vincent CEO a few months back saying on a Saturday morning “my wife and I on our usual leisurely walk were almost run over by a fast-moving motorised scooter.

“I signalled for him to slow down but he ignored my warning and then had to swerve to avoid hitting the walker behind us. It was quite frightening and could have resulted in serious injury.

“ I have noticed other scooter riders using the Park in recent times as an access way between Vincent and Glendower Streets. The increasing popularity of these machines will surely result in the Park being used as a short cut away from roadways even more so over coming months.”

Following the Voice’s story about a pedestrian breaking a leg after being hit by an e-bike on Beaufort Street (“e-Trouble on the footpath,” Voice, June 4, 2022), Mr Easton has renewed his call for the ban.

Mr Easton is an advocate of Hyde Park who’s made a few deputations to the council in recent years about how to ensure it’s kept user-friendly. 

e-scooters

He has experience in the parks arena: In 2016 he was made an officer of the Order of Australia for his conservation and environment work with organisations including the Zoological Parks Authority and the Conservation and Parks Commission. 

He suggested to the council: “Before it is too late and accidents occur I would ask that the city ban the use of motorised ride-on scooters in Hyde Park, other than for machines specially-designed for the use of disabled persons.”

We asked Vincent CEO David MacLennan about the Hyde Park e-scooter situation. Mr MacLennan said the city had received one other complaint in the past year besides Mr Easton’s but were not aware of any crashes in Hyde Park involving e-scooters or e-bikes.

“We are conscious of the need to maintain pedestrian amenity within Hyde Park and the rest of the City of Vincent,” Mr MacLennan said. “A ban has not been considered for any park at this point.”

State laws restrict e-rideables to a limit of 10kmh on footpaths, and Mr MacLennan says “we can consider the paths within Hyde Park to be footpaths and therefore the 10kmh rule would apply.”

Mr MacLennan said all e-scooter or bike laws are policed by state government, and while there’s no speed limit for e-bikes or regular bikes their riders have to give way to pedestrians and not ride recklessly.

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