The Senate inquiry into the need for regulation of mobility scooters, also known as motorised wheelchairs, released its final report on 20 September 2018.
The inquiry was undertaken by the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee, and commenced in the wake of a senator’s wife being injured by a mobility scooter.
CPSA submitted to the inquiry that much more research into why and how mobility scooter accidents occur is needed to make sure that any regulations don’t restrict people’s ability to use these devices if they need them.
CPSA argued that mobility scooters greatly improve the independence and quality of life for many older people and people with a disability.
The final report finds that there needs to be a consistent national approach to the regulation of motorised mobility aids.
CPSA is pleased that the report recognises that mobility scooters and motorised wheelchairs are of significant benefit to a large number of people.
The report also recognises that any future regulation of mobility scooters needs to be evidence-based and must not add additional barriers for people to use mobility aids.
The Committee recommended that the Australian Government ensure that Austroads (the peak organisation of Australian and New Zealand road transport and traffic agencies) has adequate funding to undertake research and consultation while developing a nationally consistent regulatory framework for motorised mobility devices.
The Committee also recommended that Austroads should consider simple and low-cost licencing and registration arrangements and third party insurance.