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Mobility scooters and power chairs provide independence but offer little protection to their riders, so you need to take steps to ensure your safety when using them. 

What are mobility devices?

Under traffic law, mobility devices are vehicles:

  • designed and constructed for people needing help with mobility because of physical or neurological impairment
  • powered solely by a motor of up to 1500 watts.

What are not considered mobility devices?

Under existing law, Segways* are not mobility devices.

*A District Court case found that a particular Segway was a mobility device. There remains uncertainty as to their general classification under current legislation. Riders should follow usage requirements in the Road User Rule.

It is the Transport Agency’s view that certain enclosed four-wheeled electric mini cars and fat tyre electric scooters, often being sold as ‘mobility devices’, are not mobility devices. Enforcement is the responsibility of Police, and the Courts will determine the final status of these mini e-cars and fat tyre e-scooters.

Guidance is available on what to look for when importing a mobility device.

Members of the public who have either a fat tyre e-scooter and/or a mini electric car may be interested in reading some of the detailed questions and answers about these vehicles.

Guidance on importing a mobility device [PDF, 46 KB]
Questions and answers about mini electric cars
Questions and answers about fat tyre electric scooters

Using your mobility device

You don’t need a driver licence to operate a mobility device and they’re not required to have a warrant of fitness or registration. But there are requirements for where and how you can use them:

  • on the road, you must keep as close as possible to the edge of the roadway
  • on the footpath:
    • you must ride carefully and be considerate of others
    • you must not ride at speeds that put other footpath users at risk.

See section 11 of the Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004 for more detail on how and where you can use these devices.

Keeping yourself safe

Mobility vehicles are light and offer you no protection. This makes you vulnerable if you go onto the road. Where possible we recommend you stay off the road, but if you must use the road:

  • wear bright clothing
  • make your vehicle more visible, for example by attaching a flag.

Be aware when riding on a mobility scooter that loose and long clothing may get caught in the tyres and could potentially cause the rider serious or fatal injury.

The Getting around as a senior booklet has more advice on mobility scooters