Be Aware, Be Patient, Be Considerate

Author: Blue Badge Insurance

For many Australians, mobility scooters represent freedom, often providing a lifeline to the outside world for people who may otherwise be housebound and isolated from society.

Mobility scooters are designed for people who are mobile enough to safely operate the device, but find it difficult to walk long distances due to injury, disability or other mobility impairment.

Many of us have seen an increase in the number of scooters in our communities in recent years driven by Australia’s ageing population. There are currently 120,000 mobility scooter users Australia-wide – a number that is expected to reach 280,000 within 10 years.

While the value they bring to people’s lives is clear to see, it’s important for mobility scooter users, pedestrians and drivers alike to be aware of one another to ensure everyone’s safety.

There are a series of mobility scooter safety tips and resources available on Blue Badge Community.

For mobility scooter users, it’s important to make sure mobility scooters are a safe choice for you before purchasing one, get the right level of training before using your scooter, ensure you are aware of the regulations for using mobility scooters in your state and that you are using the right safety accessories for your needs.

For drivers and pedestrians, the most important thing is to look out for scooters and be aware, be patient and be considerate.

Below are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep an eye out for mobility scooters as you go about your day:
  • Double check footpath traffic when reversing your car, particularly from driveways
  • If you encounter a mobility scooter on the road, slow down and allow at least a metre gap when passing them in your car
  • Give mobility scooter users plenty of time to cross the road
  • As a pedestrian, prepare to give way to scooters if the footpath narrows or is under construction
  • Don’t obstruct access – keep your bins off the footpath
  • Keep vegetation in front of your house maintained so it doesn’t encroach onto footpaths

With greater awareness, we can create a safer and more pleasant environment for everyone.

Mobility Equipment Rules and Regulations

It is important for anyone using a motorised mobility device, whether it’s an electric wheelchair or mobility scooter, to understand the legal requirements such as road rules, speed limits and registration requirements.

Transport and Main Roads has developed an information booklet for use in Queensland, which you can find here.

Remember, each Australian state and territory has its own rules and regulations so make sure you review them in detail if you intend to travel. You can find them all here.