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Austroads MD rejects prosecution claim for MMDs

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The suggestion that up to 30 per cent of wheelchair and scooter users could face prosecution if these devices were used on public footpaths because of their instability has been strongly rejected by Austroads managing director, Nick Koukoulas, describing it as “absolutely inaccurate.”

Koukoulas was responding to a media release from Scooters Australia managing director, Peter Fraser that Austroads is proposing to make it illegal for any Class A scooter or wheelchair to be used in a public place on footpaths in Australia. The Class A category includes portable and collapsible mobility scooters and electric wheelchairs and are estimated to be used by nearly a third of mobility scooter users. The devices have been available for 20 years and can be purchased through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

According to Koukoulas the issue is devices that are designed specifically for indoor use are being passed off as suitable for use on footpaths and other public infrastructure. Their lightweight design, accompanied by small wheels and a high centre of gravity, makes them significantly more likely to topple over on gradients or navigating bumps on a path.

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Source:
Kymberly Martin, 2018, Freedom2Live (https://www.freedom2live.com.au/)

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