Were frequently asked by customers who call uk-wheelchairs about the legislation regarding electric wheelchair, powerchairs and scooters. People want to know what the rules are when it comes to using these on the roads, footpaths and other pedestrian areas including precincts and shopping malls.
Electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters are categorised in to class 1 or class 2. Depending on how and where you intend to use yours it pays to do your homework and consider which if these two types best suits your needs.
Whilst you don't need a any form of licence to use either an electric wheelchair (powerchair) or a mobility scooter you may have to register it and apply for a nil value tax disc to be compliant. Although many users do not do this, we encourage all users to apply for one so they are on the right side of the law.
If you do not have a licence then you should not use your mobility aid on the roads. To help you assess whether yours is a class 2 or a class 3 please follow this guide.
To be class 3 compliant your powerchair or scooter must comply with these rules:
* Not exceed maximum weight of 150 KGs unladen
* Not exceed the maximum width of 0.85 meters
* Have a device to restrict speeds to 4mph
* Not be capable of speeds over 8mph
* Have efficient brakes
* Front and rear lights plus reflectors
* Direction indicators
* A working horn
* A rear view mirror
With the above considerations in place, you may then decide to take your mobility scooter or electric wheelchair on to the roads but you must also bare these things in mind:
* Do not use bus lanes
* Do not use cycle lanes
* Do not use motorways nor dual carriageways where the limit is over 50mph.
If you do decide to go on the dual carriageways then an amber flashing light is required to comply and to ensure that you are as visible as possible on the carriageway.
On public footpaths and in pedestrian areas, all mobility scooters and electric wheelchairs are allowed but you must engage your speed restrictor to make sure you do not go faster than 4mph.
Where there are parking restrictions and any other road markings you will need to respect these as would any other motorist including not parking on double yellow lines.
With all this in mind please make sure that you are aware at all times and respect both pedestrians and other road users while out and about in your electric wheelchair or mobility scooter.