Frequently asked questions
Answers to frequently asked questions about active transport safety and guidelines.
What is a ‘bike’ and/or ‘eBike’?
Bikes and eBikes (electric bikes) are a type of legal vehicle:
- with two or more wheels
- built to be propelled by human power through a belt, chain or gears.
eBikes help the rider move forward with power (motorised) assistance.
There are two main types of eBikes:
- Power Assisted Pedal Cycles (PAPCs), which may have a motor up to 200 watts.
- Pedelecs (complying with European Standard EN 15194), which may have a motor up to 250 watts.
The power assistance for both PAPCs and pedelecs must cut out at 25 km/h.
Remember, there are standard requirements that need to be met before a bicycle can be considered legal for use on public roads and shared paths. For rules and regulations related to bikes, including eBikes visit the Road Safety Commission website.
What are eRideables?
An eRideable is an electric rideable device, such as a eScooter, that:
- has at least one wheel
- is designed to be used by only one person
- is no more than 125 cm long, 70 cm wide and 135 cm high
- is 25 kg or less
- is not capable or travelling faster than 25 km/h on level ground.
eRideables covered under the eRideable legislation include:
eBikes are not considered eRideables.
Electric wheelchairs, mobility scooters, segways and motorised scooters less than 200 watts are also not eRideables and are governed by their own legislation.
Visit the the Road Safety Commission website to make sure your eRideable is compliant with the regulations.
What legislation covers what I need to know about the various modes of active transport?
Standard requirements, regulations and legislation that governs the legal use of bikes, eBikes, eRideables and other transport modes used on our networks of paths and roads are found in the following:
- Road Traffic Act 1974
- Road Traffic Code 2000
- Road Traffic (Authorisation to Drive) Act 2008
- Road Traffic (Authorisation to Drive) Regulations 2014
Can I ride on a footpath?
Anyone can ride on a footpath in Western Australia, unless otherwise signed. An amendment was made to the Road Traffic Code 2000 allowing parents to ride with their children on footpaths, bringing Western Australia into line with the rest of Australia. There are some conditions, such as people riding bikes needing to be in single file. See the Road Safety Commission website for more information on riding on footpaths.
How do we share roads and paths with people walking, wheeling, riding or driving?
Check out the sharing our roads and paths page for information on sharing these spaces with other users.
Do I need to wear a helmet when riding?
Helmets are compulsory in Western Australia, and all bike riders must wear an approved helmet while in motion (unless exempt). See the Road Safety Commission website for more information on helmets and safe cycling.
Should I get insurance coverage?
Insurance coverage for bike riders is not compulsory but can be useful. Many cycling groups in Western Australia provide insurance cover for cyclists as part of their membership.
Insurance policies vary and can include 24/7 coverage of bike riders of all ages and abilities, or may only provide cover as part of races, training sessions and events.
Insurance may or may not cover theft, loss or damage of your bike. Check your existing bike insurance coverage with your home and content policy or enquire with your local cycling group to determine what is best for you.