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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 8 Hansard (5 August) . . Page.. 3610..


Mr Wood: The answer to the member's questions is as follows:

(1) (a) Under the Australian Road Rules as defined above a vehicle includes a motorised wheelchair that can travel over 10 Km/h (on level ground). If the wheelchair meets this requirement and weighs more than 110kilograms it should be registered and it will have unlimited access to the roadways.

If the motorised wheel chair (scooter) cannot travel over 10 Km/h, it is defined as a "Pedestrian". A pedestrian must not travel along a road if there is a footpath or nature strip adjacent to the road, unless it is impracticable to travel on the footpath or nature strip.

A pedestrian when travelling along a road must keep as far to the left as practicable and must not travel along side another pedestrian in the same direction unless overtaking.

On-road cycle lanes are dedicated lanes to non-motorised bicycles only. Pedestrians are not allowed access to these lanes.

(b) A motorised wheel chair that cannot travel more than 10Km/h over level ground can use the ACT community paths.

(c-d) Community Paths in the ACT are defined as Footpaths, cycle paths and recreational paths.

(2) Motorised wheel chairs are able to be used on roads, if they can travel at more than 10Km/h and are registered, then have unlimited access to roads. Motorised wheel chairs that cannot travel more than 10Km/h can use the roads similarly to pedestrians, if travel along the footpath or nature strip is impracticable. While on the road they must keep to the left.

Motorised wheel chairs that cannot travel more than 10Km/h can use community paths but not the dedicated on-road cycle lanes.

(3) A cyclist as defined by the Australian Road Rules is a 'Rider' and as such all reference in the Rules about driver and driving includes a reference to rider and riding. Mobility scooters depending on their speed capability can use the roads as a vehicle or a pedestrian.

(4) Motorised wheel chair operators are not compelled to use the footpath if the footpath is in such a state of disrepair that travel is impracticable.

Motorised wheel chair operators should advise Roads ACT of locations where the footpath is in such disrepair that travel along the path is impracticable. Information received can then be programmed for inspection and appropriate action. This information can be provided to the City Management enquiry line on telephone 6207 2500.

(5) The liability of the Government will depend on the circumstances in which the particular accident occurred. Factors such as the extent, visibility and the Government's awareness of any damage and the length of time it had been there may be relevant, but are not decisive of the question of liability.


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