We get it. The rules around where you are and aren’t allowed to go with your mobility scooter can be confusing, especially if you’re a first-timer! Sometimes, it can be hard to tell the difference between what’s the law and what’s just friendly advice.
You may be wondering if you’re classified as a pedestrian or a driver when using your scooter. Do you need a licence? Are mobility scooters allowed on roads?
We’ve put together a quick guide to help you out, so you can stay safe and inside the law when using your scooter.
Am I a pedestrian or a driver?
Anyone using a mobility scooter is classified as a pedestrian in Australia. As such, you are required to follow the same road rules a pedestrian would. These may vary slightly depending on which state you live in, so check with your state’s road and transport authority if you’re unsure.
In general, being considered a pedestrian means a few things. When using your mobility scooter, you should:
- Stick to travelling on footpaths whenever possible
- Cross roads at pedestrian crossings
- Watch out for other pedestrians
- Travel at walking speed (around 2-3km/h)
- Never obstruct the path of another mobility scooter driver or pedestrian
- Never cause a traffic hazard by moving in the way of a driver
- Not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol when driving
- Only use a motorised wheelchair if you require one due to restricted mobility
In addition, your motorised wheelchair must not exceed 10km/h in speed and must not weigh more than 110kg.
Do I need a license?
As you are classified as a pedestrian, you don’t need a driver license to use your scooter. If you live in Queensland however, you are required to register your mobility scooter.
Are mobility scooters allowed on roads?
Mobility scooters should only be used on roads as an absolute last resort. You should always use a footpath if available, even if that means taking a longer route or catching public transport to get where you need to go.
Before heading out on your scooter, it’s worth investing some time into planning your journey to make sure you have access to footpaths the whole way. If in doubt, contact your local council and they will be able to advise you on safe paths to take.
What if I have to use my mobility scooter on the road?
If you’ve taken all steps to ensure you’re avoiding roads but still need to use one on your journey, there are a few things you can do to make it safer.
If you must travel on the road:
- Only use quiet streets
- Avoid highways, roundabouts, major roads and anywhere where you might encounter heavy vehicles
- Stick to the side of the road, facing oncoming traffic
- Make sure you’re visible by wearing bright clothes or a reflective vest and installing lights on your scooter
- Take extra care at night
Remember, you are a pedestrian, so don’t drive with the traffic. It’s always better to alter your route and stay safe, even if it’s a slightly longer journey.
If you have any questions regarding road safety for mobility scooters, don’t hesitate to get in contact with your local council or authorised supplier. At Hello Mobility Queensland, we’re dedicated to providing our customers with ongoing support to ensure they’re safe and happy. Give us a call on 1300 884 880 today!