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How to use your mobility scooter – safely

Supplier: Ballina Scooters
02 March, 2012

A mobility scooter or power chair (electric wheelchair) can be your key to independence and freedom.

If you have limited mobility, or are unable or unwilling to drive a car, a mobility scooter or power chair is a great way to get you where you want to go safely - particularly if you're just going to the local shops or anywhere that's little too far away to walk.

If you currently use a mobility scooter or power chair or are considering using one in the future - this booklet is for you. It contains practical advice on your rights and responsibilities, as well as safety and maintenance tips.

Be informed

If you're using a power chair or mobility scooter for the first time, or if it's been a while since you've ridden one outdoors, consider doing a training course. It's a great way to make sure you know how to use your power chair or scooter safely.

To find out about training courses in your area; contact your local road safety coordinator (your local council can advise you who this is).

Know your legal responsibilities

Mobility scooters and power chairs are legally defined as 'wheeled mobility devices'.

You don't need a driver licence to operate a wheeled mobility device, nor are they required to have a warrant of fitness or registration. However, there are some important legal safety requirements that you need to know about.

Be Aware Of:

  • You must operate your mobility scooter or power chair in a careful and considerate manner.
  • You must use the footpath when one is readily accessible, and stay close to the side of the road where a footpath is not readily accessible.
  • When on the footpath, you mustn't travel at a speed that endangers others.
  • It's illegal for you to ride, or let any person ride, in a way that may cause you or them injury.
  • If you are involved in a crash, you must stop to see if anyone is injured and report the crash to the Police within 24 hours.
  • It's important to be aware that careless use of a mobility scooter or power chair does carry legal implications. For example, operating a mobility device carelessly, inconsiderately or at a hazardous speed can result in you being fined $100 (or more if you are repeatedly found doing so).
  • If you cause a crash where someone is injured or killed, you could be convicted of careless or inconsiderate use of a vehicle, and face a fine of up to $4,500 or up to three month's imprisonment.

For more information on your legal responsibilities:

  • call 000
  • visit www.
  • write to PO Box .
  • Plan your route
  • Plan your route carefully.

Work out the shortest and safest route - avoid busy roads, roundabouts and intersections where possible. Time your journey so you'll be back before dark.

Avoid times of the day when you know there'll be heavy traffic.

If you're unsure whether a shopping complex or public area has suitable access, make enquiries before beginning your journey.

Make sure the distance you want to travel is within the range of your scooter or power chair. Ready to ride?

You shouldn't use your power chair or mobility scooter if you're under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medication that may affect your driving ability. If you're unsure, ask your doctor or chemist.

Take a suitable carry bag - don't carry objects loose in your lap.

Ensure that the battery is fully charged.

Know who to call if something goes wrong with your scooter .
 

Source: Ballina Scooters
How to use your mobility scooter – safely