Rules and Regulations for using a Scooter in NSW
To ensure maximum safety whilst using your wheelchair or mobility scooter please read the information below.
What skills do I need to drive safely in a mobility scooter or powerchair?
You must be able to do the following:
Keep your balance and adjust your body position and weight when you travel across uneven ground
- Manoeuver the machine
- Operate the controls
- Judge speeds and distances
- Spot obstacles and avoid collisions
- Be sound of mind enough to make safe judgements in protection of your own person and others around you.
Am I required to have a driver’s licence to drive an electric scooter or powerchair?
No. However, you must be able to prove that you are legitimately unable to walk or have difficulty walking to be able to lawfully drive a motorised scooter or powerchair on a footpath or public road. Generally a doctor’s certificate will provide appropriate proof of your mobility impairment.
Do I need insurance?
In the case of an accident involving a third party, the Nominal Defendant Scheme covers the third party but only on road related areas, not in shopping malls. Therefore users are recommended to obtain additional insurance covering public liability, house and contents and personal effects, and personal accident. Often motorised wheelchairs and scooters can be included in house and contents insurance.
Do I have to register my mobility scooter or powerchair?
No. Neither powerchairs nor electric mobility scooters need to be registered under NSW law. However strict adherence to the road rules as they are outlined below, is important.
What NSW Road Rules must be observed?
- A speed limit of 10km/hr must be observed at all times
- Safety of others must be a priority at all times
- The footpath and nature strip must be the primary travel route. You should only drive on the road when the footpath or nature strip is not safe to use
- On a path or nature strip, users must give way to other road users
- If using the road, the mobility scooter/ electric wheelchair user must keep as close to the side of the road as possible and face oncoming traffic
- The most direct route must be used when crossing a road
- The mobility unit must not exceed 110kg unladen
- The motorised wheelchair or mobility scooter must not be used with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 or more.
Do I need third party insurance?
Please refer to the above section ‘Do I need insurance‘. Contact NRMA to arrange.
How can I increase my safety driving a scooter or power chair?
- There are some basic things you can easily do to increase your safety whilst driving a scooter or powerchair.
- Attach an orange safety flag to your chair that is high enough so that pedestrians and surrounding vehicles can see it
- Stick to quiet streets and pavements and stay away from major roads and highways
- Plan your route in advance so that you are confident in finding suitable public footpaths
- Avoid traveling at night. If absolutely necessary to travel at night, use reflectors and lights to increase your visibility
- Know where the drive ways and kerb ramps are for safe crossing