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.
In the absence of local exceptions the following information should be considered the law:
Q - What is a skateboard under the law?
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.
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?
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.
The exception to this is when a road is clearly marked as no recreational devices allowed.
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?
During daylight hours
Q - How can I skate?
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?
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.
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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