Centre for Road Safety

Mobility scooters are used by less mobile people to help them get to everyday places, such as the local shops.

When using your mobility scooter always follow the same road rules that apply to pedestrians. Ride on the footpath, preferably at walking speed, which is 2–3 kilometres per hour. You should also cross the road at safe places, such as traffic lights with pedestrian signals and at pedestrian crossings.

NSW road rules

  • Mobility scooters must not travel at more than 10 kilometres per hour
  • You don’t need a NSW driver licence to operate a mobility scooter

Safe riding tips

Slow down to turn

Always slow down before turning. If you go too fast on a corner, the scooter’s wheels can unbalance and you may fall and be injured.

Be careful riding up or down steep hills

Avoid riding up and down steep hills unless it’s necessary. Riding up steep hills can drain the battery. Riding down steep hills can put strain on your the brakes. Be very careful if you need to turn on a steep hill, as you can topple over easily. If possible, ride to a flat surface before turning.

Make sure you’re visible

Use a flag and wear bright clothes when riding your mobility scooter to make sure cars and pedestrians can see you.

Slow down when crossing driveways

Always slow down and look and listen for cars when crossing driveways, as drivers may not have seen you. Remember that mobility scooters are smaller than cars, and when you’re seated you can be shorter than pedestrians and harder to see.

Use baskets or racks

When you need to carry things, always use a basket or rack, not your lap. Balancing anything on your lap can distract you when riding and affect your ability to operate the scooter’s controls.

Health and medications

Your ability to use your a mobility scooter can be affected by your health and any medications you’re taking. Check with your doctor before riding to make sure you have the ability to safely operate your mobility scooter.

Basic skills you will need

Strength

You need a firm grip to hold the handle bars and to steer around tight corners.

Balance

Good balance helps you to stay upright when riding over uneven ground or down a hill.

Coordination

You need to be able to quickly and correctly swap between using the accelerator and brake while steering at the same time.

Good eyesight

You must be able to see properly to avoid crashing into obstacles, people and vehicles.

Perception

The ability to know how fast you’re going and judge the distances of objects, people or vehicles can help you avoid a crash.

More information

Visit the Independent Living Centre NSW website or call 1300 885 886 for more details on using mobility scooters.

Motorised wheelchairs has more information on pedestrian road rules and the safe use of mobility aids.