Mobility scooters are a boon for those who can't walk far or drive a car.
Land Transport NZ has published a free booklet with practical advice about scooter users' rights and responsibilities, and safety and maintenance tips. (Did you know that some taxi companies are able to carry you and your scooter? Check when booking.)
You don't need a driver's license to operate a scooter, nor do they need a warrant of fitness or registration.
But recent cases of careless use of mobility scooters suggest this booklet should be compulsory reading for everyone who drives a ‘wheeled mobility device'.
If your family member decides to use a power chair or mobility scooter, or if it's been awhile since they've ridden one outdoors, training courses are available. To find out more about courses in your area contact your local road safety coordinator (your local council can tell you who this is).
Those who have periods of confusion when riding their scooter or power chair, or develop problems with their vision, or start forgetting where they are going, must stop using their devices. They should consult their GP before using their power chair or scooter again. If your older family member is advised not to continue using their mobility device, your nearest Age Concern office may be able to help with organising alternative transport.
You can get a copy of the Keeping Mobile booklet at your nearest Disability Information Centre, or phone Land Transport NZ (0800) 699 000.
The agency also has lots of useful free information sheets about driving with disabilities and medical conditions at its website, www.nzta.govt.nz