Motorised wheelchairs and mobility scooters
Vehicle definitions, use on footpaths and roads, licensing and registration.This content is for general information only. It does not, and is not intended to, provide legal or technical advice or to represent a legal interpretation of the matters it addresses.
Frequently asked questions
Powered wheelchairs are used by persons who have a mobility disability and are regarded for all intents and purposes as having pedestrian status i.e., their motorised wheelchair being an extension of the person rather than as a mode of transport vehicle. No distinction is made between self-propelled and powered wheelchairs.
No. It is classed as a special purpose vehicle (SPV) with special features as described above.
Yes. Powered wheelchairs can be used on footpaths, can enter pedestrianised streets and cycle tracks, and can enter buildings etc. in the same manner as pedestrians. Wheelchair users are in special circumstances as regards essential personal mobility needs arising from a disability and, as already stated the wheelchair is therefore regarded as an extension of the person rather than as a mode of transport vehicle.
Wheelchair users which include those using powered wheelchairs or mobility scooters should:
- face oncoming traffic in the same manner as if they were being pushed by an adult
- use a footpath or hard shoulder where possible at all times and cross the road at pedestrian crossings, traffic lights or at a location that gives them the best view of any approaching traffic.
Under Section 67 of the Roads Act of 1993, ‘it is the duty of care of a person using a public road to take reasonable care of their own safety and for that of any other person using the public road’.