Registration Changes for Mobility Scooters
As most users are aware mobility Scooters require registration in Queensland, it is compulsory. Registration is currently free and includes compulsory third party insurance.
Recently Queensland Transport introduced new registration number plates to help clear up one area that there is some debate on. Some users believe they are able to ride their scooters on the road because they have registraion which makes them able to use the road system like a car or motorcycle.
I heard two stories recently about mobility scooters users who took their scooters on motorways, one on the Gold Coast the other in Brisbane. Both stories were similar, the ladies took their scooters on the road in 100km/h zones and were pulled over by the police who tried to usher them off the respective motorways for their safety. Both users argued with the police saying they had registration and therefor could go where they pleased. Both mobility scooter users received fines which they took to court to argue they could take their mobility Scooters on whatever road they pleased as they had registation. Both ladies lost their cases and the fines were upheld. These two cases apparently prompted Queensland transport to introduce new number plates.
I don’t know how much truth is in these stories however I have had discussions with users of mobility scooters who believe they can take their scooters on the road citing a number of reasons ranging from the scooter is registered right through to finding the road more convenient and comfortable than the footpath. Most users I talk to don’t like going on the road citing the speed difference between a scooter and a car, bus or truck as frightening.
The truth or more importantly the law is quite clear. Mobility Scooters are only allowed to use the footpath, the new number plates are quite clear on this and are titled
“QLD – MOTORISED WHEELCHAIR
PEDESTRIAN TRAFFIC ROUTES ONLY”
What this means is obvious, mobility scooters should be used on the footpath. What if there is no footpath I hear you ask? In that situation you should drive on the nature strip, if there is no nature strip then you can use the road but you should travel against the flow of traffic. The other question is can I use bike lanes? Answer is simple, not if there is a footpath.
In short, we should not be on the road, especially the highway.