Mo­torised mo­bil­ity de­vices - the law

Mansfield Courier - - 2016 MANSFIELD SHOW - By DAVID MIMS

A LET­TER to the ed­i­tor pub­lished on Oc­to­ber 16 prompted the Mans­field Courier jour­nal­ists to delve into the rules and reg­u­la­tions for pedes­trian safety and the use of mo­torised de­vices by the el­derly.

A check of cur­rent rules and in­for­ma­tion on Mo­torised Mo­bil­ity De­vices ( MMDs) in­di­cates there are cer­tain re­quire­ments and rules for users of MMDs.

Un­der Vic­to­rian law, a pedes­trian is de­fined as in­clud­ing a per­son in a wheel­chair and a per­son on a wheeled recre­ational de­vice, mo­torised mo­bil­ity de­vice or wheeled toy.

A MMD can be de­fined as a chair mounted on two or more wheels that is built to trans­port a per­son who is un­able to walk or has dif­fi­culty in walk­ing.

A li­cence is not re­quired to op­er­ate such a de­vice.

Un­der the Road Safety Act (1986) and Road Rules Vic­to­ria, such mo­torised de­vices “must have a max­i­mum ca­pa­ble speed of 10km/h on level ground and a max­i­mum un­laden mass of 110kg”.

Pedes­trian laws state a per­son on a wheeled recre­ational de­vice or wheeled toy must keep to the left of the path and give way to peo­ple walk­ing when trav­el­ling on a foot­path or shared path.

A per­son on a wheeled recre­ational de­vice may use a foot­path, a bi­cy­cle path or the bi­cy­cle side of a sep­a­rated foot­path pro­vided they keep out of the way of any bi­cy­cle.

A per­son on a wheeled toy, who is un­der 12 years old may use a foot­path but must not use a bi­cy­cle path or the bi­cy­cle side of a sep­a­rated foot­path (ie the pedes­trian side must be used).

VicRoads pro­duces a bro- chure in hard copy and elec­tron­i­cally, en­ti­tled “A guide for choos­ing and us­ing mo­torised mo­bil­ity de­vices”.

This guide in­cludes re­quire­ments on their use and sets out the Aus­tralian Stan­dards.

Un­der re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, the guide says: “You need to be very care­ful and slow down when near other peo­ple, es­pe­cially pedes­tri­ans, cy­clists and chil­dren”, and “You should make sure that your mo­torised mo­bil­ity de­vice com­plies with Aus­tralian Stan­dards”.

In the in­tro­duc­tion on whether to get a MMD, the guide sug­gests: “Your doc­tor can help you make this de­ci­sion or may re­fer you to an oc­cu­pa­tional ther­a­pist for fur­ther assess­ment”.

Fam­i­lies, car­ers and aged care pro­fes­sion­als who look af­ter peo­ple with mo­bil­ity is­sues want­ing a MMD also have a role to play, as will the sup­pli­ers/ distrib­u­tors of MMDs.

Lo­cally, res­i­dents at Mans­field’s Bin­da­ree Re­tire­ment Hos­tel who wish to use such de­vices are re­quired to un­der­take an oc­cu­pa­tional ther­a­pist’s assess­ment be­fore they are al­lowed to use them.

As with all as­pects of road rules, re­spon­si­bil­ity lies with the user, with safety for the user, and those around them as para­mount.

PHOTO: Pam Zierk-Ma­honey

THERE ARE RULES: Res­i­dents who use a mo­torised mo­bil­ity de­vice are urged to obey the rules and stick to the speed lim­its. Bin­da­ree res­i­dents Faye Pritchard and John Marsh are both users of mo­torised mo­bil­ity de­vices and keep up with the changes in...

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.