Road Rules for Mobility Scooters: What You Should Know 28 Apr

People with limited mobility require mobility scooters to accomplish their daily living activities and help them get around everyday places. Such places are not only limited to their neighbourhood. It could also include areas like the supermarket, school, workplace, and so on. Hence, there is a need for road rules for mobility scooters for their safety as they travel from one place to another.

In this article, let us learn the various road rules that should be followed by mobility scooter users, along with some safe riding tips to ensure their safety wherever they go.

Why the Need for Road Rules for Mobility Scooters

If you are not yet aware, there are road rules for mobility scooters. Such practices enable individuals with limited mobility to get to places safely.

Every place has specific rules and regulations, but the need to regulate mobile scooters came to be due to the following:

  • the number of deaths and injuries as a result of accidents involving mobility scooters in Australia,
  • the causes of these accidents involving mobility scooters in Australia,
  • regulations governing the use of mobility scooters in Australia,
  • application of international rules or standards,
  • support structures that ensure safe mobility scooter operations,
  • governing and non-governing organisation’s roles in regulation; and,
  • other related matters.

Australian Road Rules for Mobility Scooters

The ARRs have been utilised as a foundation for state and territory legislation in Australia. In the third chapter of the report titled “Need for regulation of mobility scooters, also known as motorised wheelchairs,” the laws that govern motorised mobility devices throughout Australia were laid out. Such mobility devices include scooters and wheelchairs.

Motorised devices, when on roads or road-related areas are regulated by recognising them as pedestrians if they cannot travel faster than 10 km/h on level ground. This means that users are subject to the general road rules applying to pedestrians, which include:

  • use the footpath or nature strip adjacent to a road instead of the road
  • avoid moving into the path of a driver; and,
  • regulated use of shared paths with bicycles.

On the other hand, those who can travel faster than 10 km/h on level ground are already treated as vehicles. Users are regulated by making them follow the road rules that apply to vehicular drivers. They are prohibited from driving on footpaths, bicycle paths and shared paths). But there are exemptions if they comply with the following:

  • the mobile device’s unladen mass (TARE) is less than 110 kg;
  • the mobile device does not travel faster than 10 km/h;
  • the user is in a physical condition that requires him to use a mobility device; and
  • the user gives way to all other road users, pedestrians, and even animals on the path.

Since the rules that regulate motorised mobility devices are complicated, it was unclear to identify what agency is responsible for managing the system or providing users guidance on these rules.

State Regulations for the Use of Mobility Scooters

As mentioned, the ARRs were used as the basis for state and territory legislation in Australia.

South Australia

In South Australia, they follow the regulations as stated in the ARRs. So, if the speed of the mobility scooter is less than 10km/hr., the user will be considered a pedestrian. Otherwise, the user will be regarded as a driver like that of a motor vehicle and should follow the road rules.


Victoria has a Road Safety Act 1986 and the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules 2017 in which they do not define mobility devices as motor vehicles, and users are not required to register them.

Western Australia

The Road Safety Commission of Western Australia emphasises that mobility devices such as mobility scooters are not meant to replace motor vehicles, and they are classed as pedestrians if they are not capable of travelling at more than 10 km/h. Otherwise, they should be registered as vehicles.


Under the Queensland Road Rules, the users of a mobility scooter are considered pedestrians if they use it outside of their homes. Since they are considered such, they must always use a footpath or nature strip if available. If no footpath or nature strip is available, the user should stay on the left- or right-hand side of the road at all times and should face oncoming traffic if they can.

New South Wales (NSW)

NSW Road Rules deem users of mobility devices as pedestrians and are not required to register their mobility scooters. They are also bound to follow the NSW Road Rules, which are similar to the rules of the other states; however, their law states that the user should not ride a mobility scooter if they have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 or more.


In Tasmania, they do not classify mobility scooters as motor vehicles but as pedestrians who are subject to follow pedestrian rules, particularly when crossing roads.

Safe Riding Tips

Here are safe riding tips you may want to follow to ensure a safe and smooth ride while you are on your mobility scooter.

1. Slow down when turning

Before turning, always slow down. If you ride too rapidly around a corner, the scooter’s wheels get unbalanced and will cause you to tumble and harm yourself, and who knows, you will find yourself in a situation where you will not get help right away?

2. Be cautious on steep slopes.

Unless essential, avoid cycling up and down steep slopes. But if you should, then be cautious because you can easily crash. In the process, your scooter’s battery will be depleted by riding up steep slopes, and your brakes will be strained.

3. Ensure your visibility.

When riding your mobility scooter, wear bright clothing to ensure that automobiles and pedestrians see you. Also, consider putting up a flag on your mobility scooter so people around you can easily detect it.

4. Slow down on driveways.

When crossing driveways, always slow down and look and listen for incoming cars. Drivers may not easily spot you, especially if they are in larger vehicles. Mobility scooters are also generally smaller than automobiles, and you are less to become shorter when you are sitting down than walking pedestrians.

5. Take advantage of baskets and racks.

If you need to carry items with you as you travel, always take advantage of a basket or rack rather than putting things on your lap. When riding, having things on your lap will only distract and reduce your ability to manage the scooter’s controls.

Get Your First Mobility Scooter at ATTO Australia!

ATTO Australia offers a wide range of  mobility aids and accessories  to ensure you are empowered for life. We have  portable scooters, power wheelchairs, rollators, and mobility scooters that go through various terrain.

Should you have questions, be sure to call us on 1300288628 today to learn more about our products to start your journey to a free and independent life!