Privately owned electric scooters are no longer banned and younger riders can hit the road as part of a six-month extension to a Victorian e-scooter trial.
The only e-scooters legally allowed on the road at present are those available through hire companies, but that's due to change from Wednesday.
Anyone aged over 16 and wearing a helmet will be allowed to travel on e-scooters in bicycle lanes and shared paths or on roads with a speed limit of 60km/h or less.
Given Victorians could get their learner drivers licence at 16, it made sense to let them ride e-scooters at the same age, Roads Minister Melissa Horne said.
The scooters are not allowed on footpaths and must not travel at more than 20km/h, while only one person is allowed on board at a time.
E-scooters capable of travelling at more than 25km/h remain banned.
All riders must follow the same blood alcohol content and drug rules as drivers.
More than 3.7 million trips have taken place in Melbourne and 200,000 in Ballarat since the trial kicked off in early 2022.
"We know e-scooters are popular with many Victorians, so we're extending the trial in Victoria under these strict regulations to ensure people travel responsibly and safely," Ms Horne said.
The government estimated there was about 100,000 privately owned e-scooters in Victoria, and would fine-tune the regulatory framework for their use over the next six months, the minister said.
The government would also roll out an education campaign about the scooters.
People were mostly concerned about e-scooters being ridden on footpaths through consultation, and they would essentially be treated like bikes when it came to collisions with pedestrians, Ms Horne said.
There were 324 collisions involving e-scooters in Victoria and 16 privately owned vehicles were impounded between December 2021 and February 2022, according to Victoria Police.
Some 1069 infringements were issued to riders during that time, two-thirds of which were for failing to wear a helmet or riding on a footpath.
Australian Associated Press