ASRA - Australian Skateboard Racing Association

The laws of skateboarding. Taken from the Australian Road Rules as approved by the Australian Transport Council and published by the Australian Transport Commission Feb 2009.

The Australian Transport council was setup to streamline national road rules under agreement by all states and territories' transport and roads Ministers. Under agreement of the Australian Transport Council all states and territories are obliged to create legislation that is constant with the National Road Rules 2009. Given that our members come from all over Australia this is the most relevant document.


In the absence of local exceptions the following information should be considered the law:

Q - What is a skateboard under the law?
A - For the Australian Road Rules, a person in or on a wheeled recreational device or wheeled toy is a pedestrian, not a rider (as in cyclist) and not a vehicle. The laws that relate to skateboards apply within Part 14 (Rules for pedestrians) of the Australian Road Rules. Part 14 - Division 1 is about pedestrian laws. Division 2 relates to pedestrians of wheeled recreational devices.

Q - Where and when can I use this toy?
A - On roads that satisfy these conditions:
  • a road with no dividing line and no median strip; and
  • a road on which the speed-limit is equal to or less than 50 kilometres per hour; and
  • a one-way road with less than 2 marked lanes.
note 1: The exception to this is when a road is clearly marked as no recreational devices allowed.
note 2: You are permitted to be on a prohibited road on your skateboard for the purpose of crossing that road and only when taking the shortest possible route. You are not required to get off your skateboard to do this

Q - When can I use my skateboard?
A - During daylight hours

Q - How can I skate?
A - When on a road you can skate as fast as you want with as many people as you want but you must not be any more than 2 abreast with other riders. You must also stay to the left of the road.

Q - Can I skate on the footpath?
A - Yes. However you must keep to the left of the footpath or shared path unless it is impracticable to do so; and you must give way to any pedestrian (except a person traveling in or on a wheeled recreational device or wheeled toy) who is on the footpath or shared path. On a footpath or shared path bicycle riders must give way to skateboarders.
note: You must not skate on a footpath that has been specifically signposted as no wheeled toys allowed.

Q - Skitching looks fun, am I allowed to do that?
A - NO. A skateboard cannot be towed by a car nor can a skateboarder hold onto a car if it is moving. A skateboarder also cannot travel within 2m of a car continuously for any distance over 200m

Q - Do I have to be wearing a helmet?
A - No, but you might be considered stupid not to. (Except in SA where a bicycle helmet is mandatory)

Q - Can the Police or a security guard confiscate by skateboard?
A - NO. For the state to confiscate your property there has to be special legislation or the item in question must be illegal to possess. ie drugs, knives. The only time they can confiscate something that it is legal to own is in the circumstance where special legislation allows or when a magistrate rules on this ie. the car hoon laws and this is tightly regulated as in they can't confiscate your car because you ran a red light or because of a minor traffic offense. A security guard is just another public citizen and has no special or implied powers.

The illegal dispossession of somebodies personal property is considered theft be that by Police, security guards, or any other person in the community.

The exception to this rule is in Tasmania where the state has special laws that allow you to either pay the fine or hand your skateboard over to police for 7 days but not both

Q - What should I do if the police bust me for breaking skateboard laws?
A - Be polite. If your are issued a fine than cop it like a man and move on. The fine is similar to a cheap or medium quality set of bearings ($40-$60) so don't whinge or sook about it.

Q - What is the penalty for committing one of the above offeneces?
A - Fines vary from state to state:
---- NSW - $54
---- QLD - $40
---- ACT - $67
---- SA - $87
---- VIC -$60
---- TAS - $35-$50 or except 7 day confiscation with no financial penalty
---- WA - $50

Attached is a full copy of the Australian Road Rules 2009

Tags: FAQ, Laws, Skateboard laws, cops, lawyer, lawyers, legal, police, road rules, rules

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I'm pretty sure Odiwan is right. You can ride on footpaths and cross the road at night. Just not along the road.
This was one of the new laws that was introduced last year. I did a few radio interviews about it in queensland. There was a link somewhere on ASRA about it.

What will be interesting to see is how these laws are interpreted and exercised going forward. As longboarding increases in popularity, our visibility on law enforcement radar also increases. At the same time, the police are very inconsistent in their application of these laws and often it is just a matter of reading the situation and responding accordingly. If an cop is upset and flexing authority, let him/her do so. Apologise and be on your way. Other times they be more interested in and tolerant of our skating and if you have a polite chat they will be on their way, leaving you to keep skating. What absolutely does not help is becoming confrontational with police. As recent events have shown, they will just taser you and put you in cuffs.

Thanks Robbo for adding this every useful discussion.



Robbo said:
Fair call, I'll look more closely at it

Odiwan said:
"Q - When can I use my skateboard?
A - During daylight hours"

I believe that the only place you can't ride at night is on the road. You can ride on allowed paths and to cross the road at night, just not along the road. That is just me splitting hairs, seeing as how this discussion is about pedantic silly laws and all...
I had a meeting with a guy called Geoff Brock for yous that don't know him he is the MP Member of Frome.
He represents parliament for the mid north area he said that he would keen to take this issue to parliament to be fought for change of law or at least for an agreement with police ETC. I'm email back and forth with him at the moment and he is just letting me know what i need to do research wise so that there is enough evidence for him to battle the case/act.

personally i would like the Skate laws to be the same as the cycling laws or for there to be a Longboarding Law.

all this information posted help Me to get him information and will help the skate community to ride free hopefully in the near future.

I know it big dreams and very long hand to touch the sky but its worth a try.
Peace
Thats what I thought, thanks merrick.

jeez you guys have got it good with just $40, its not exactly a discouraging amount. Given how heavy some cops approach this I wonder if there is a smaller fine for anything in the country, I doubt it. If the fine is meant to fit the crime than skateboarding would have to be the most minor offence anybody could ever commit period. Although police really don't seem to understand this

Merrick Wildash said:
Its a $40 dollar fine in QLD
wow this is helpful. I live in toronto (NSW), i'm the only one that rides or maybe even owns an LB, i had one run in with the cops ages ago (about 9pm) when i was bombing a hill near my house which also happened to be a big main road. i explained to them i don't do this during the day on any big roads or even when there is traffic, and i don't do anything i can't handle or stop safely on. sometimes i run into a cop now when im just cruising to and from work on the lake and they just ask questions and seem pretty stoked. i haven't had any trouble or fines yet
Nice one Tim,

Keep us updated on any further discussions with Geoff.
Let us know if we can help in any way. Robbo has a good handle on the issues and the laws and as officers of ASRA we are both more than happy to go on record with this. I can help prepare a written submission to the MP if/when required.

The reality is that we when we ride roads we act very much like bikes. Of course, you do all realise that if we are regarded as bicycles we are subject to stricter road rules, much like bikes are. Ie. would in theory need to stop at red lights, have lights at night, etc. but the chance of copping a fine for this is miniscule. We might also be required to wear helmets. Which is no biggie cos we all do that anyways. Regular double-kick skaters would hate us tho haha.



tim hills said:
I had a meeting with a guy called Geoff Brock for yous that don't know him he is the MP Member of Frome.
He represents parliament for the mid north area he said that he would keen to take this issue to parliament to be fought for change of law or at least for an agreement with police ETC. I'm email back and forth with him at the moment and he is just letting me know what i need to do research wise so that there is enough evidence for him to battle the case/act.

personally i would like the Skate laws to be the same as the cycling laws or for there to be a Longboarding Law.

all this information posted help Me to get him information and will help the skate community to ride free hopefully in the near future.

I know it big dreams and very long hand to touch the sky but its worth a try.
Peace
They can get you for pubic nuisance, but that is mainly used for when you are actually blocking cars, crossing double lines, swearing or rude gestures or going above the speed limit ect.
as long as you are considerate of others on the road, and also to the cop, you probably won't get this, also, wear a helmet, and they will be nicer towards you, although, as robbo said, we all do/should wear one anyway.

I have an e-mail from my local council regarding the laws somewhere as well, I think (QLD laws)


Merrick Wildash said:
They said they gave us the lesser fine of $40 but they are also able to fine us for $100 for being a public nuisance.
Not sure how true that was.


Robbo said:
Thats what I thought, thanks merrick.

jeez you guys have got it good with just $40, its not exactly a discouraging amount. Given how heavy some cops approach this I wonder if there is a smaller fine for anything in the country, I doubt it. If the fine is meant to fit the crime than skateboarding would have to be the most minor offence anybody could ever commit period. Although police really don't seem to understand this

Merrick Wildash said:
Its a $40 dollar fine in QLD
one of the biggest issues that Geoff wanted me to research was like braking distance and like speeds etc.
Rhys got a 67 dollar fine in canberra, we were skating out in the ranges and went through a speed trap. i saw them and pulled onto the shoulder and they let me off but rhys got stung because he was holding traffic up like a criminal!
having said that, i've found that if you are polite and passive even the most pissed off cop can come around, they are usually pretty ticked off and call you an idiot etc, the trick is not to get defensive, you're just a kid on a toy!
You should go talk to my dad about that, he keeps on telling me that you can't break on a skateboard, even though I tell he how it works! He would make a fantastic anal cop :p


tim hills said:
one of the biggest issues that Geoff wanted me to research was like braking distance and like speeds etc.


Tim (Skittles) said:
He would make a fantastic anal cop :p


bad images...
We have a new leader

Henry King said:
Rhys got a 67 dollar fine in canberra,
this seems odd. has this been done for bicycles? i would be extremely surprised if it had. and it would be irrelevant anyway, cos every bike is different and every bike ride has different capabilities.

but maybe this could lead to an interesting side-event at the next skate jam = see who can stop the fastest!



tim hills said:
one of the biggest issues that Geoff wanted me to research was like braking distance and like speeds etc.

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