Parents thinking of buying their child or teen an electronic riding device are warned to do their homework first, according to leading WA child and youth safety educator Constable Care Foundation (CCF).
CCF chief executive Ian Anstee said the surge in popularity of electronic scooters, skateboards, unicycles, skates, hoverboards and wheels had led to confusion over the rules surrounding their use and a lot of unsafe behaviour.
“It’s still a fairly new thing so unfortunately there are many children, teenagers and adults unknowingly breaking road rules or riding illegal devices, which puts lives at risk,” he said.
“One of the most important things to remember besides always wearing a helmet is eRideables are not permitted to be ridden by children under 16 years of age. Children under 16 are only allowed to ride electronic scooters that don’t exceed 10kmph.”
Despite this, recent reports have seen an explosion in serious injuries related to high-powered eRideables presenting to WA emergency departments, a large portion of them children. Perth Children’s Hospital recently reported the number of eRideable crashes involving riders under 16 had doubled each year since 2017. “These devises can cause serious injuries, even death, so we are urging buyers to be aware of what they give their children this Christmas.”
Mr Anstee said knowing the rules and purchasing the appropriate device for the rider’s age was paramount to keeping safe.
“Retailers may be well intentioned but their primary objective is to sell, so they may not always know or be providing the correct advice when it comes to purchasing an appropriate device,” Mr Anstee said.
“E-rideables are not toys,” said Road Safety Commissioner Adrian Warner.
“Owning and riding one of these devices in public comes with responsibilities for both your health and the health and safety of others.
“So, I 100% endorse the idea of making sure you know all the rules before buying one of these machines for your child this Christmas.
“To find out more about safely riding an eRideable check out the Road Safety Commission website, which has some useful and practical information, “the Commissioner said.
Check out our handy fact sheet with eRideable rules for use in WA here.