Recent changes to the NSW Road Rules, which remove outdated weight limits for power wheelchairs and motorised mobility scooters (known as Motorised Mobility Devices – MMDs) used by people with physical disability are welcomed by the Physical Disability Council of NSW.
PDCN has been advocating for the onerous weight restriction to be lifted for several years, emphasising the practical problems these rules caused our members.
Previous weight limits for MMDs used in NSW prevented people with disability from using certain, essential models of MMDs or in other cases, needing to do as no other suitable option was available, and risking legal action if an incident occurred when they did. It also effectively cut residents of NSW who use MMDs off from a significant part of the overseas MMD market that offered major functional and technical improvements.Embed from Getty Images
In highlighting the practical impact of the weight rules, Physical Disability Council of NSW, CEO, Ms. Serena Ovens states “We literally had situations where people had gone to the cost and effort of purchasing MMDs, and were told “this is too heavy, it’s illegal to use this to get around and you can’t use it in our grounds”.
“At the same time, the weight restrictions were limiting our members’ ability to import newer, more advanced models of MMDs – it was an arbitrary rule with little to no practical justification and had serious impacts on our members’ independence and capacity to engage in community life”.
The amendments to the Road Rules, introduced on 1 September 2021, remove any references to weight restrictions for people using MMDs as pedestrians, including mobility scooters and power wheelchairs.
PDCN thank the Minister for Roads and Transport, The Hon. Andrew Constance and his department for addressing this long-term issue for our many wheelchair & mobility scooter user members.