Mobility Scooter Laws:
Coppied directly from the N.Z.T.A web site to avoid any errors in translation
Updated: 9 February 2015
Mobility devices such as mobility scooters and power chairs provide independence to a growing number of New Zealanders. Because these vehicles offer little protection to their riders, you need to take steps to ensure your safety when using them.
Under traffic law, mobility devices are vehicles:
(Note: Under existing law, Segways and 2 wheel balance scooters are not 'mobility devices'.)
You don't need a driver licence to operate a mobility device, nor are they required to have a warrant of fitness or registration. But there are requirements for where and how you can use them:
See section 11 of the Road User Rule (PDF, 680 KB, 34 pages) for more detail on how and where you can use these devices.
Mobility vehicles are light and offer you no protection should you have a collision. This makes you vulnerable if you go onto the road. Where possible we recommend you stay off the road, but if you must use the road:
See more suggestions on how to stay safe in Keeping mobile - how to use your mobility scooter or power chair safely.
And again direct from another NZTA page:
Most mobility scooters and power chairs are battery powered and have three or four wheels.
Mobility scooters and power chairs are legally defined as 'wheeled mobility devices'.
You don't need a driver licence to operate a wheeled mobility device, and they are not required to have a warrant of fitness or registration. There are, however, some important legal safety requirements you need to know about:
It's important to be aware that careless use of a mobility scooter or power chair carries legal implications.
For example, operating a wheeled mobility device carelessly, inconsiderately or at a hazardous speed can result in a fine of up to $1000.
If you cause a crash where someone is injured or killed, you could be convicted of careless or inconsiderate use of a vehicle, and face a fine of up to $4,500, or up to three months imprisonment.
Your mobility scooter or power chair should be serviced by a qualified service technician regularly. Some manufacturers recommend that mobility scooters and power chairs are given a safety check similar to a warrant of fitness every six months. This includes getting the brakes, electronics and controls serviced, and the tyre pressure and battery checked.
Remember to always do the following:
There are a number of safety accessories available, such as indicators, lights, horns, reversing beepers, warning flags and rear view mirrors.
And again direct copied from the legislation page:
Reprint as at 1 November 2014
11.1A Use of shared path
(1) This clause applies to a path that—
(a) may be a cycle path, a footpath, or some other kind of path; and
(b) may be used by some or all of the following persons at the same time:
(iii) riders of mobility devices:
(iv) riders of wheeled recreational devices.
(2) A person using the path—
(a) must use it in a careful and considerate manner; and
(b) must not use it in a manner that constitutes a hazard to other persons using it.
(3) A rider of a cycle, mobility device, or wheeled recreational device on the path must not operate the cycle or device at a speed that constitutes a hazard to other persons using the path.
(4) If a sign or marking on the path gives priority to pedestrians or cyclists, the following rules apply on the path:
(a) pedestrians, riders of mobility devices, and riders of wheeled recreational devices must give priority to cyclists if the sign or marking gives priority to cyclists:
(b) cyclists must give priority to pedestrians, riders of mobility devices, and riders of wheeled recreational devices if the sign or marking gives priority to pedestrians:
(c) no user may unduly impede the passage of any other user, whatever priority the sign or marking gives.
Clause 11.1A: inserted, on 1 November 2009, by clause 37 of the Land Transport (Road User) Amendment Rule 2009 (SR 2009/253).
5 Wheeled recreational devices and mobility devices
(1) The Traffic Regulations 1976 have been silent on where non-motorised vehicles such as scooters, skateboards, and in-line roller skates can be operated (when being used by an adult). This rule introduces a number of new requirements.
(2) The rule includes vehicles such as scooters, skateboards, in-line roller skates within a category of traffic called a wheeled recreational device, defined as a wheeled conveyance, other than a cycle that has a wheel diameter exceeding 355 mm, and that is propelled by human power or gravity. Devices that have an auxiliary propulsion motor or motors with a combined maximum power output not exceeding 200 W are also included.
(3) The rule also introduces a definition of a mobility device. A mobility device is a vehicle with a maximum power output not exceeding 1 500 W that is principally designed and constructed for use by persons who require mobility assistance due to a physical or neurological impairment. Mobility devices are restricted to the footpath, where this is practicable and where they must be operated in a careful and considerate manner.
From Standards nz web site:
Specifies requirements and test methods for electrically powered wheelchairs with a maximum speed not exceeding 15 km/h intended to carry one person of mass not greater than 300 kg. It includes manual wheelchairs with add-on power kits used for propulsion, and electrically powered wheelchairs (which includes scooters). It also specifies requirements and test methods for battery chargers for wheelchairs and scooters.
With seating for 2 or 3 and a speed well in excess of 15kph and a mass that could clearly get to around 500kg, it is clear we "exceed this standard" or more so, that the standard needs updating, now that the rules have changed, to encompass the variations the law now allows.
We would be happy to work with standards to update this, but i suspect, that since they pretty much just copied the australian standard, they wont be spending any money, any time soon, to update this.
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