(Part 3 in a special Home Instead series on Mobility Aids)

Motorised mobility scooters – also known as motorised wheelchairs and ‘gophers’ – are designed to improve mobility and independence for people who have difficulty when moving due to disability, age, illness or injury.

However as helpful as they are, they are not suitable for everyone.

Although no licence is required to ride a mobility scooter in Australia (provided you travel under 10kph, you are classed as a pedestrian) it is a given that a person must be in charge of their faculties to be fit to ride in public.

Basic skills required include:

  • Reasonable hearing & vision
  • Physical balance
  • Adequate strength, flexibility & endurance
  • Coordination
  • Perception 
  • Concentration
  • Reasonable reflexes (reaction time)

If you or your aged loved one are on medication, or have a condition that may prevent you from successfully and safely operating a motorised mobility scooter, seek the opinion of your medical practitioner*; if in doubt, it’s best to err on the side of caution.

*In some states, health professionals are legally obliged to notify Transport Departments if they believe that by riding a motorised wheelchair, you are a danger to yourself or the general public.