Lizzie Hunter

Austroads releases paper on future regulation of MMDs

Austroads has released a discussion paper to investigate the future of national regulation for motorised mobility devices (MMD).

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Following Standards Australia publishing a Technical Specification for motorised wheelchairs and mobility scooters in 2018, Austroads is exploring how this Technical Specification can be implemented to realise its intended safety benefits.

Through the discussion paper, Austroads is also addressing recommendations from the 2018 Senate Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport’s Inquiry into the Need for regulation of mobility scooters, also known as motorised wheelchairs. This includes exploration of national licensing and registration arrangements for these devices and their users.

The discussion paper seeks feedback on a range of options that were developed at national stakeholder workshops held in April this year. These options seek to ensure the safety of mobility device users.

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Assistive Technology Suppliers Australia (ATSA) executive officer David Sinclair is recommending anyone involved with motorised mobility devices respond to the matter since the end result will have a long lasting impact.

“This is very important issue that users, prescribers and suppliers need to take note of and not sit back and hope everything will work out. The issue of how the regulation in Australia around MMDs has been, in effect, broken for well over 10 years and it is a positive thing that finally changes are under consideration,” he told F2L.

“The discussion paper is presenting a number of well thought through options on how the future could look like in the regulation of MMDs.”

Austroads is using a consultative approach using stakeholders from user groups, industry and government areas across Australia. The Technical Specification is currently a voluntary guideline, designed to improve safety. This is an opportunity for all stakeholders to consider the best way it can implemented.

Views are also sought from stakeholders on whether a national registration and licensing scheme for these devices is supported.

Submissions will be accepted until September, 16 2019.

This discussion paper seeks stakeholder views on:

  • options for the adoption of Australian Standard’s Technical Specification for  Motorised Mobility Devices; and
  • considerations  associated with a national registration and licensing system for Motorised  Mobility Devices and their users as recommended 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 options presented in this paper are based on collated feedback from stakeholders who attended workshops in Brisbane in April 2019. Questions are provided throughout the paper to assist in responding to the paper.

Responses to this paper will be collated to inform the final project report, including recommendations, for Austroads consideration.

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