Using powerchairs – roads and pavements

Powerchairs from Karma Mobility can be used on both road and pavements, depending on the type of model that you choose. There are some minimum requirements that must be met before you can use your powerchair on the road.

It is always advisable to use the pavement wherever possible as this is safer. This recommendation is supported by the Highway Code. Some users choose to use the road as it is often smoother and less likely to be obstructed than the pavement. While this is understandable, you still need to transfer back to the pavement whenever possible.

What are the rules?

There are a number of guidelines that relate to the use of powerchairs on the roads and pavements. A general overview includes the following points:

  • You must not travel faster than 4mph on the pavement;
  • It is recommended that people always use a drop-kerb to cross the road wherever possible even if they have to travel to find one;
  • If you do choose to use the road for any reason, you must travel in the same direction as other road users;
  • When you are on the road, you must obey all the usual rules that relate to road users regarding the use of horns, stopping at lights, indication and using lights at night.

What kind of chair do you need?

The government states that powerchairs need to meet the following requirements in order to be used on the road:

  • A maximum unladen weight of 150kg
  • A maximum width of 0.85 metres
  • A device to limit its speed to 4mph (when in use on pavements)
  • A maximum speed of 8mph
  • An efficient braking system
  • Front and rear lights and reflectors
  • Direction indicators able to operate as a hazard warning signal
  • An audible horn
  • A rear view mirror
  • An amber flashing light if it’s used on a dual carriageway.

A stockist of Karma Mobility products can help you choose a model that meets these criteria and offer you adaptations where necessary.

A mobility scooter that is going to be used on the road needs to be registered with the DVLA. This does not mean that you need to pay tax, only that you need to complete the required paperwork.



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