Home > Drivers > Accredited driver rights and responsibilities > Carrying passengers with wheelchairs and mobility scooters

Carrying passengers with wheelchairs and mobility scooters

Drivers of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles have a number of obligations when loading and transporting people in wheelchairs and scooters.

Information on this page

Legal requirements

Only 'W' endorsed accredited drivers can provide commercial passenger vehicle services to passengers in wheelchairs, including operating lifting equipment. Driver accreditation conditions include a number of requirements relating to the operation of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles.

A ‘W’ endorsed accredited driver can only carry a passenger in a wheelchair if the vehicle meets the WAV specifications.

Passengers in wheelchairs

A passenger occupying a wheelchair must not be carried in a commercial passenger vehicle unless:

  • the wheelchair is securely restrained by applying restraints to the floor from two points on the front and two points on the rear of the wheelchair frame
  • the passenger is secured by a seat belt fitted to the taxi and which has been properly adjusted and fastened
  • the wheelchair is positioned with the occupant facing towards the front of the vehicle and with the wheelchair located between the appropriate restraint attachment tracks/points on the floor.

If you have any queries relating to the Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles, please contact us.

Passengers using scooters

A passenger who uses a mobility scooter must be seated in a conventional passenger seat for the duration of the journey and wear a seat belt

The scooter must be fitted with restraints to prevent movement of the scooter during the journey. If the scooter cannot be safely secured and restrained within the taxi, the scooter must not be carried.

Restraints

Wheelchair restraint systems must comply with Australia/New Zealand AS/NZS 10542 Parts 1 & 2 Wheelchair tie down and occupant-restraint systems.

They also must comply with any requirements contained in Australian Standard AS 2942 Wheelchair occupant restraint assemblies for motor vehicles which are not covered in Australian Standard/New Zealand Standard 10542 Parts 1 & 2.

Hoists on accessible vehicles

The hoist fitted to a wheelchair accessible vehicle must only be used to load and unload a passenger in a wheelchair or on a mobility scooter.

Passengers in wheelchairs may remain seated in their wheelchair when being transported in a WAV. Passengers who use scooters as mobility aids cannot remain seated while being transported in a commercial passenger vehicle, they must be seated in a passenger seat within the vehicle.

High-care mobility aids

High-care mobility aids do not meet national design and construction standards for the carriage of passengers in commercial passenger vehicles. A high-care mobility aid includes, 'Princess', 'Duchess' and 'Tub' chairs/beds.

High-care mobility aids carry the occupant in a reclined position. The occupant can’t be properly restrained, as there’s a danger they could slip under the restraint, presenting a safety risk. The aids also lack the structural integrity to withstand minor impact. In the event of an accident their tilt-lock mechanism or the frame could fail, exposing the occupant to serious injury.

Under no circumstances is it safe to carry passengers in high-care mobility aids. Doing so puts passenger safety, and the safety of other occupants of the vehicle, at risk.

Drivers found transporting passengers in such aids may have their accreditation reviewed and be legally liable for any injuries sustained to passengers. Legal liability in these circumstances can also extend to Booking Service Providers, vehicle owners and other industry participants.

Incorrect carriage of passengers

Drivers of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles are cautioned that legal action could be taken against them if they are found to breach their obligations when carrying passengers with mobility aids. In addition, we may suspend or cancel the driver accreditation held by any driver who has failed to fully and properly restrain a passenger in a wheelchair, or has attempted to transport a wheelchair or scooter and its passenger in any manner which is not consistent with the above requirements.