For someone who has trouble walking or moving about, a mobility scooter is nothing less than a savior.
It can make their day-to-day life simpler and easier, without them having to rely on someone to take them anywhere that they need to go.
However, mobility scooter users may have concerns with regard to the rules and regulations that have to do with mobility scooters.
Since they aren’t vehicles that are normally seen on the road, people who wish to purchase one often wonder whether they’re even allowed to drive their scooters in public or on the road.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry. After all, nobody wants trouble with the law. If you’re planning on getting a mobility scooter for yourself and want all your concerns addressed beforehand, you’ve come to the right place.
This blog post is all about mobility scooters – where you can drive them, what the rules and regulations are, and, most importantly, whether you need a license to drive a mobility scooter.
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- 1 Where Can You Drive Your Mobility Scooter?
- 2 U.S. Regulations Pertaining To Mobility Scooters
- 3 Do You Need A License For It?
Where Can You Drive Your Mobility Scooter?
Let’s look at where you’re allowed to drive your mobility scooter.
You can definitely drive your mobility scooter on pavements. According to the classification by the government, one of the two classes of mobility scooters is pavement scooters (Class 2).
You will have all the rights that pedestrians have while they’re walking on the pavements; the only condition is that you cannot drive your mobility scooter faster than 4mph.
If you want to visit a friend but you aren’t sure whether you can drive over to their place in your mobility scooter, you’ll probably love us for this – you can drive your mobility scooter on the roads!
After all, what’s the point of owning a mobility scooter if you can’t move around the city in it?
As mentioned above, the government has divided mobility scooters into two classes; Class 2 and Class 3.
While class 2 mobility scooters can be driven on pavements only, mobility scooters that fall into class 3 can be driven on the roads. The catch is that these mobility scooters can be driven at a maximum speed of 8 mph.
A mobility scooter that you’re planning to drive on the road needs to have certain features to be considered roadworthy.
It should have headlights, a rear-view mirror, a horn, reflectors, hazard warning lights, and indicators. The scooter’s braking system must be efficient, too, to ensure that you have adequate control over your vehicle while you’re on the road.
Now, this might come as a surprise to you, but you can drive your class 3 mobility scooter on the freeway, too!
Yes, you read that right. The only condition here that you must follow is that there has to be an active, flashing, amber light flashing at all times.
Although it is advisable not to drive your mobility scooter on the freeway, you won’t be breaking any rules if you do. However, you are not allowed to drive your mobility scooter on highways.
Cycle/ Bus Lanes
You cannot drive your mobility scooter in cycle or bus lanes. You are supposed to stay on the main lane or on the pavement only.
Like we mentioned earlier, mobility scooters may be considered as an auxiliary to wheelchairs, and with that being said, there is nothing that says that you can’t drive your mobility scooter in a shop or a mall.
The law states that every public building should have disabled access, which includes mobility scooters as well.
However, you may find it quite unfeasible to drive a regular-sized mobility scooter in shops as they have narrow walkways and are usually made big enough to only allow wheelchairs.
If you are an avid shopper and go shopping often, you should consider buying a small-sized foldable scooter or a pavement mobility scooter so that you can navigate around the shops with ease.
Also, people usually walk slower in shops, so your speed shouldn’t exceed 3mph.
Getting on and off buses on your mobility scooter is something that needs special training.
If you wish to take the bus, you need to sign yourself up for this form of training, after which you will be given a permit. One thing that you might already know is – not all buses allow mobility scooters on them.
Even after you have a permit to travel on buses with your mobility scooter, you need to know which buses allow mobility scooters to begin with.
Just like buses, not all trains will allow you to board with a mobility scooter.
While some trains allow you to park your scooter in the disabled area, having a small-sized, folding scooter will be a more suitable option if you travel in trains frequently.
This type of scooter will allow you to fold it and carry it with you while you take a seat on the train. Not only will it be convenient for you, but it will also make traveling a lot more comfortable.
U.S. Regulations Pertaining To Mobility Scooters
There are numerous rules and regulations related to the use of mobility scooters in the U.S. in terms of where they can be driven, what the permitted speed is, what taxes they are subjected to, and so-on and so-forth.
Having adequate know-how about these rules will keep you on the safe side. The U.S. regulations pertaining to mobility scooters have been listed below:
1. Types and Speed Limits
The U.S. government has divided mobility scooters into two distinct classes.
The rules each class is subjected to are different, owing to the fact that scooters in each of the classes are meant to be driven in certain places.
These rules have been discussed below:
Class 2 mobility scooters are pavement scooters.
As such, they can only be driven on the pavements and in shops. You cannot take these scooters on any main roads. The maximum speed that you can drive your class 2 scooter is 4mph.
Class 3 mobility scooters are allowed on the roads. The speed limit off-road is 4mph and on-road, it’s 8mph.
Since you’re allowed to drive class 3 scooters on the road, these vehicles are subject to more regulations.
- You must be 14 years of age or older to drive a class
3 mobility scooter
- Your scooter has to be registered with the vehicle licensing agency of the state; separate forms for new vehicles and used vehicles
- You cannot drive in cycle or bus lanes and motorways
- You can carry a maximum weight of 150kg
- The maximum width should be 0.85 meters
- It should have working brakes, a rear-view mirror, a horn, indicators, hazard lights, front and rear lights, amber flashing lights (in case you’re driving it on the freeway)
2. Allowed Persons
If you’re not disabled, you aren’t permitted to drive a mobility scooter by law.
The only conditions where someone who isn’t disabled is allowed to drive one is when they are demonstrating how the vehicle works before selling it, training someone who is disabled, or taking the vehicle for repairs.
If you’re found driving a mobility scooter for a reason other than the ones mentioned above, you will be subjected to fines or penalties.
3. Road Tax / Vehicle Excise Duty
You aren’t obligated to pay any road tax for a powered wheelchair or mobility scooter, but registration as a class 3 vehicle with the vehicle licensing body of your state is mandatory.
Although you aren’t legally required to get insurance for your mobility vehicle, it is advised that you still do. This will save you from liability in case of an accidental collision.
There have been numerous cases where the drivers had to bear significant liabilities just because their vehicles weren’t insured.
Do You Need A License For It?
While it is a legal requirement to get your vehicle registered with the vehicle licensing body of the state, you do not need to take a driving test or get a license to drive your mobility scooter around.
The authorities will not subject you to any fines or penalties for driving a mobility vehicle without a license as long as you are complying with all the regulations pertaining to these vehicles.
Mobility scooters are a great way to give anyone who is disabled the freedom that they deserve.
As convenient as mobility scooters are, you can find yourself in trouble with the law enforcement agencies if you are found breaching any regulations.
This is why we have compiled everything there is to know about the rules and regulations related to mobility scooters.
Now that you know what to do and what not to do, you can proceed with buying and driving your mobility scooter wherever you want!