Austroads, the peak organisation of Australian road transport and traffic agencies, has released a Discussion Paper on Motorised Mobility Devices (MMDs). The paper explores establishing a National Registration and Licencing Scheme and Technical Specification for MMDs, also known as powered wheelchairs or mobility scooters.
The Austroads Discussion Paper AP-C107-19 makes a number of recommendations and seeks responses from stakeholders.
Adopting Technical Specification
The Discussion Paper recommends an industry-driven adoption of the Technical Specification. The Technical Specification for MMDs sets out construction and performance requirements for use on public infrastructure, such as footpaths, and public transport.
The Technical Specification provides for a labelling scheme designed to make it clearer for purchasers of a device about the suitability of the device for its intended use. Unsuitable devices, such as those that can tip easily on gradients or when ascending/descending low steps, will not be provided a label showing they are fit for use on public infrastructure.
Registration and licensing
The Discussion Paper considers licensing and registration arrangements and third party insurance for MMDs in accordance with recommendations made by the Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Inquiry into the Need for regulation of mobility scooters, also known as motorised wheelchairs.
The report, which was handed down in September 2018, recommended that “…Austroads should consider simple and low-cost registration and licensing arrangements and third-party compulsory insurance”.
The Discussion Paper recommends that no further steps be taken in pursuit of a national registration scheme for MMDs. The Discussion Paper also recommends that each jurisdiction consider how compulsory third party insurance could be provided to MMD users.
These recommendations are based on the high costs and number of disadvantages that a nationally-consistent registration scheme for MMDs would have on users.
How to respond to the discussion paper
Prompting questions are provided throughout the Discussion Paper to assist in the preparation of a response. Responses to this Discussion Paper will be considered by Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, as the lead agency for the Austroads project.
Please send your submissions by email to MMD_Consultation@tmr.qld.gov.au
Comments must be submitted using the document review template (Word doc). Please submit your comments on the Word template and save your organisation name in the file name. Comments provided on any other format may not be considered. Please do not provide PDF versions of the comment template.
Submissions will be accepted until 16 September 2019.
View the discussion paper here.