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Carrying passengers with wheelchairs and mobility scooters

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

Information on this page

Mobility aids

High-care mobility aids do not meet national design and construction standards for the carriage of passengers in taxis. 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 cannot be properly restrained with the danger they could slip under the restraint, endangering themselves. 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 taxi, 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 operators, licence holders and Booking Service Providers.

Legal requirements

Wheelchair Accessible Taxi licence conditions require the driver to:

  • securely restrain wheelchairs or scooters being carried in the taxi
  • maintain high standards of interaction with passengers to ensure the passenger is safe and comfortable
  • store luggage or other goods safely, and ensure they do not interfere with the movement of passengers in or out of the vehicle
  • ensure the lifting equipment in a taxi is only operated by a 'W' endorsed accredited driver.

Passengers in wheelchairs

A passenger occupying a wheelchair must not be carried in a taxi 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 taxi 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 Taxis, 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, and
  • the scooter must be fitted with restraints to prevent movement of the scooter during the journey. In the event that the scooter cannot be safely secured and restrained within the taxi, the scooter must not be carried.

The scooter must be fitted with restraints to prevent movement of the scooter during the journey. In the event that 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 taxis

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

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

Incorrect carriage of passengers

Drivers of Wheelchair Accessible Taxis are cautioned that in addition to possible legal action they may face arising from negligence, the TSC will institute proceedings to suspend or revoke the driver accreditation held by any driver proven to have 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.