Are Mobility Scooters Allowed on the Road?

Are Mobility Scooters Allowed on the Road?

In most cities within the United States of America, it’s illegal to drive a mobility scooter on the road. These laws regarding the use of mobility scooters on the road are formed locally by municipal bylaws which vary from one city to another. Certain communities may allow mobility scooters to be driven on side roads within gated communities. This may depend on their size and top overall speed.

Folks with limited mobility due various issues may need to use a mobility scooter in place of a standard manual wheelchair. Using a compact folding mobility scooter may assist in them maintaining a more independent lifestyle and enjoy more time with their friends and family. Many seniors use mobility scooters for their transportation and oftentimes rely on them to run errands, get groceries, and enjoy the outdoors.

Senior citizen using a mobility scooter in the street.

Why Do Cities Restrict Road Travel for Mobility Scooters?

Even if your mobility scooter is consider to be road-worthy, most municipalities define the users of mobility scooters as pedestrians. This means they are subject to the same restrictions and demands as pedestrians. When driving your mobility scooters you should stick to the sidewalk if at all possible possible and always use the crosswalk.

Certain municipalities may allow mobility scooters to use side roads if there are no sidewalks available. Even if this is the case the driver of the mobility scooter must stay as far to the right side of the road as possible for everyone's safety. Always check with your local government for this type of information if you have further questions.

Person Using Mobility Scooter in City

Is There a Street- Legal Mobility Scooter?

The modern mobility scooter is becoming more and more popular among seniors and people with disabilities. Modern mobility scooters are starting to look more like recreational scooters than the mobility scooters of yesteryear. Newer mobility scooters can travel at a top speed of 5 to 15 miles per hour with drive ranges up to 40 miles. This makes them an appealing transportation option for people who live in more urban environments.

People who rely on mobility scooters for daily travel oftentimes want a mobility scooter that can travel at a higher top speed. They look for this feature because  many cities use this feature to define if a mobility scooter is road legal. In addition, some municipalities may also require mobility scooters to have highly effective brakes, lights, instruments (odometer and horn), to be able to use the same road as other motorized vehicles safely.

All mobility scooters aren't designed to be used or driven on high-traffic roads. If your mobility scooter were to be considered road legal (always check with your local authorities) it is not allowed in traffic lanes or to use turn lanes with other vehicles. People who want to use their new mobility scooter on the road MUST review their city’s local bylaws regarding this. We highly suggest doing this research before purchasing a mobility scooter.

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