Safety guide for scooter users
Using Power Wheelchairs and Scooters in public areas
Only people with a disability that substantially impairs their mobility can, by law, use a power wheelchair or mobility scooter in a public place.
Power wheelchair and mobility scooter users are considered pedestrians under the Australian Road Rules.
Although power wheelchair and mobility scooter users do not require a licence or third party insurance, speeds must be limited to 10 km/h and pedestrian road rules obeyed.
Power wheelchairs and mobility scooters must not travel along the road if there is a footpath or nature strip next to the road. Driving on roads is hazardous.
Whether driving on the footpath or roadway, you should not endanger anyone or obstruct the path of any person or vehicle.
Although there is no formal test needed to use a power wheelchair or mobility scooter, there are some basic skills required to operate it safely. If you are concerned about your ability, your doctor or health care professional may be able to arrange as assessment.
It is also important to note that it is an offence to use your power wheelchair or mobility scooter if your blood alcohol level is 0.05 or more.
To use a power wheelchair or mobility scooter safely, you need to be able to:
- Operate the controls and manoeuvre the vehicle.
- Keep your balance and adjust your body position when travelling across uneven ground.
- Spot obstacles and avoid collisions.
- Judge speeds and distances.
- Make good judgements to protect your safety and that of others.
- Attach a safety flag to your vehicle so it’s high enough above your head to be visible.
- If possible, attach rear view mirrors on your vehicle for checking behind you.
- If you must travel at night, lights and reflectors should be used to aid visibility.
Planning a safe route
- Plan a route that allows you to stay on the footpath for all or most of your journey.
- Know where there are kerbs and ramps or driveways you can use for safe crossings
- If you must use the road, choose quieter streets, even if the trip is longer.
- If on the road, keep as far to the side of the road as possible.
- Avoid highways, major roads and areas used by heavy vehicles.