Glenn Osboldstone

Senior Permissioning Officer, Environment Protection Authority Victoria

Dru Marsh

Manager of Internal Review, Environment Protection Authority Victoria

Road laws for skaters

Last updated

1 July 2022

Road Rules relating to skaters

The Road Rules relating to pedestrians are set out in Part 14 of the Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic) (‘Road Safety Act‘); included within that part are specific divisions relating to persons travelling in or on wheeled recreational devices and wheeled toys (Division 2) and on electric personal transporters (Division 3). There is a section (RR 240–244B) specifically for wheeled recreational devices.

Skateboards, scooters, and in-line and other roller­skates are all included in the definition of a ‘wheeled recreation device’. Users of these items (generally termed ‘skaters’ in this section) are usually considered to be pedestrians and not riders or drivers. Accordingly, the majority of the Road Rules already discussed in this chapter do not apply. For example, there is no requirement for skaters to wear protective headgear.

However, when it comes to riding scooters on a road or road-related area, scooter riders must wear protective helmets, unless they have a VicRoads certificate. The scooter must also have a brake, warning device and, when travelling at night or in hazardous weather conditions, front and rear lights and a reflector the same as on bicycles (RR 244B(4), (5); 5 pu).

Penalty units

For the financial year 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023, the value of one penalty unit (pu) is $184.92. For more information about penalty units, see the Department of Justice’s website.

Wheeled recreational devices (e.g. skateboards) must not be used on the following kinds of roads:

  • roads with a dividing line or median strip;
  • roads that have a speed limit greater than 50 kilometres per hour;
  • one-way roads with more than one marked lane (RR 240(1); 2 pu).

The exception is where a skater is crossing the road (RR 240(3)).

On other types of road, a skater must keep as close to the left side as practicable and must not travel more than two abreast with other pedestrians or vehicles, unless overtaking (RR 241; 2 pu).

Also, wheeled recreational devices must not be used on a road at night (RR 240(2); 2 pu).

‘Road’ in Road Rules 240 and 241 includes the ‘shoulder’ (for the definition of ‘shoulder’, see ‘Roads and road-related areas: Definitions’ in ‘Who and what do the Road Rules cover?’ in ‘Road Rules and Regulations‘).

When travelling on a footpath or shared path, a skater must keep as far left as practicable and give way to pedestrians (‘pedestrian’ here does not include other skaters, people on segways or children on ‘wheeled toys’) (RR 242(1); 2 pu).

For a skater using a bicycle path or a separated footpath (defined above in ‘Riding on paths and bicycle lanes’), Road Rule 243(1) says that a skater must not be on that part of the path designated for pedestrians unless the skater is crossing the path by the shortest, safe route and does not stay on the path for longer than necessary to cross safely (maximum penalty: 2 pu). Skaters must also keep out of the way of bicycles (RR 243(2); 2 pu).

Finally, skaters, like cyclists, are prohibited from being towed by a moving vehicle, holding onto a moving vehicle, or travelling within two metres of the rear of a moving motor vehicle continuously for more than 200 metres (RR 244; 2 pu).

There are many other prohibitions in the Road Rules that also apply to skaters, because they fall within the definition of ‘pedestrians’.

Prohibitions relating to skaters include:

  • failing to obey traffic signals (RR 231, 232; 2 pu);
  • failing to cross a road, railway line or tram tracks by the shortest and safest route (RR 230, 233, 234, 235, 235A; 2 pu);
  • causing a traffic hazard by moving into the path of a driver (RR 236(1), (2); 1 pu).

Skating in Melbourne

The City of Melbourne regulates the use of ‘toy vehicles’ within its boundaries, including prohibiting their use  in certain areas.

Clause 1.11 of the Activities Local Law 2019 (Vic) defines a ‘toy vehicle’ as:

equipment designed to be propelled by human power and includes a skateboard, scooter, rollerskates and in-line skates, but does not include a bicycle.

Clause 2.3(a) states that:

A person must not use or allow to be used a toy vehicle so as to endanger, intimidate or unduly obstruct or hinder any other person or vehicle lawfully using or intending to use the same area.  

Clause 2.3(b) states that:

A person must not ride a toy vehicle in an area prescribed by the Council in accordance with Clause 2.4 or in breach of a prescription made by the Council under Clause 2.5.

Prescription 12-2019, clause 2 states:

The riding of toy vehicles is prohibited throughout the whole of each year in those parts of the municipality within the bold lines on the attached map and, in the cases of Lincoln Square and the State Library, identified as Paved Area.

The areas (as set out in maps attached to Prescription 12-2019) are Burston Reserve (opposite Parliament House), outside the State Library, the Hub @ Docklands (Collins Street, Waterfall Walk and Harbour Esplanade), and Lincoln Square in Carlton.

There is a 1 pu infringement penalty for ‘misuse of toy vehicles’ (i.e. breaching clause 2.3) set out in Schedule 1 to Activities Local Law 2019 (Vic).

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