Mobility scooters

Motorised wheelchairs and mobility scooters

Mobility scooters, or ‘gophers’, are classified as motorised wheelchairs. Mobility scooters are mobility aids with two or more wheels and have a top speed of 10km/h on level ground. They’re specially built to transport a single person who can’t walk or has trouble walking. A mobility scooter doesn't include a wheeled recreational device such as a motor scooter, pram, stroller, trolley or any other motor-assisted machine. 

When using your mobility scooter, you're considered a pedestrian. You must follow the same road rules that apply to pedestrians.


This means that as long as you meet the safety rules below, you can use your mobility scooter on a shared path, footpath and nature strip. 

A bicycle path is an area that looks like a footpath, but is designated for bicycle use. A bicycle lane is an area that's part of a road, but is designated for bikes. 

We recommend mobility scooter users don’t travel on either a bicycle path or a bicycle lane. However, you can cross a bicycle path/lane, use a bicycle path if there are no signs that prohibit it and use a bicycle lane for up to 50 metres. 

You don’t need to register or get third-party insurance for a mobility scooter in NSW. People with mobility scooters don’t need a licence to use one in NSW.  

Get the facts

NSW road rules

A mobility scooter in NSW must not have the capacity to travel faster than 10km/h or accommodate more than one person. 

As a user, you must: 

  • never exceed 10km/h 
  • make sure your mobility scooter meets the requirements of NSW Road Rules 2014 
  • have a reasonable need to use a mobility scooter because of physical disability or limited mobility 
  • obey all pedestrian road rules 
  • not cause a traffic hazard by moving into the path of a driver 
  • not unreasonably obstruct the path of another driver or pedestrian 
  • not be affected by alcohol or drugs when travelling on a road or road-related area such as a footpath. 

    Tools and tips

    How to travel safely

    • Plan a route that allows access to a footpath for the entire journey 
    • Know where there are kerb ramps/driveways you can use for safe crossings 
    • Take extra care when leaving the kerb to cross the road 
    • Slow down when turning and avoid turning on steep hills 
    • Ride on the footpath, preferably at walking speed which is 2–3km/h 
    • Cross the road at safe places such as traffic lights with pedestrian signals and pedestrian crossings 
    • Wait until traffic has stopped before travelling onto a pedestrian crossing 
    • Be prepared to stop for pedestrians 
    • Watch for vehicles entering and leaving driveways 
    • Avoid highways, roundabouts, major roads and heavy vehicles 
    • Avoid steep hills unless it's necessary 
    • If you're forced to use roads, travel on quieter streets, keep to the side and face oncoming traffic wherever possible 
    • Wear bright clothes and attach a safety flag to your chair high enough above your head to be visible to others 
    • Use a basket or rack instead of your lap to carry things 
    • If possible, attach rear-view mirrors to your chair 
    • If you must travel at night, use lights and reflectors for better visibility 
    • If possible, check out a new route beforehand to make sure it’s suitable for a motorised wheelchair 
    • For more on planning a safe route, contact your local council's access committee. 

    Safe operating skills

    To use a motorised wheelchair safely, you must be able to: 

    • operate controls and manoeuvre the wheelchair around tight corners 
    • keep your balance and adjust your body position when travelling across uneven ground 
    • spot obstacles and avoid collisions 
    • judge speeds and distances 
    • make good judgements to protect your safety and others. 

    Alcohol mixed with prescription or other drugs may further affect your ability to use a motorised wheelchair safely.  

    If you're concerned about your ability to use a motorised wheelchair, check with your doctor before riding. Your doctor or healthcare professional may be able to arrange an assessment by an accredited occupational therapist. 

    Who to contact locally

    • Aged and disability services at your local council 
    • Occupational therapy department at your local hospital 
    • Aged care assessment team at your local health centre