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Motorized Wheelchairs and Transport Chairs

Residents who operate motorized wheelchairs must follow the rules of the road and exercise care when passing others. Motorized wheelchairs are permitted on roadways as well as sidewalks when circumstances warrant.

According to the City of Cornwall Traffic and Parking By-Law, motorized wheelchairs should only be used for the purpose of carrying a person with a physical disability.

Motorized Wheelchair Rules:

  • When traveling on a roadway, travel as close to the right-hand side of the roadway as practical.
  • When traveling on a sidewalk, travel as close to the right-hand side of the sidewalk as possible. When necessary, slow down or come to a full stop when encountering or passing pedestrians. Always yield the right-of-way to pedestrians.
  • Exercise care when passing other vehicles.
  • Motorized wheelchairs must bear the "slow moving vehicle" sign required by the Highway Traffic Act.
  • Motorized wheelchairs must be equipped with mirrors to provide the operator a clear view of the roadway and any vehicles approaching from behind.
  • When traveling on one-way streets, follow the direction of traffic.
  • Travel in single file.

Transport Chairs:

Cornwall Transit has investigated the use of Transport Wheelchairs and has determined the following:

Transport chair is a fancy name for a lightweight, portable wheelchair.  Transport chairs are great for day trips and other times when mobility is key.  They are small and collapsible, making them perfect for toting in the trunk of a car.  These smaller chairs are a great solution for someone who may not be able to stand or walk for long periods of time.  A Transport wheelchair is meant to be pushed by a family member or caregiver, as their small wheels make it impossible for the user to propel themselves.

The Transport Chair is not to be used in a vehicle for transport.  This wheelchair has not been approved as a seat surface to be used within a vehicle of any kind.  Cornwall Transit must always transfer the wheelchair user to  an approved vehicle seat for their safety. 

Other Safety Tips:

  • When traveling in unfavourable conditions or in the dark, wheelchairs must be equipped with a white or amber light on the front and a red light on the back.
  • Don't attempt to carry any packages or articles while operating a motorized vehicle.
  • When parking a wheelchair, do so in a way that causes the least possible obstruction to pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
  • Do not carry passengers on a wheelchair.
  • It is always important to remember that in any collision with a vehicle, the car or truck will fare better. People operating motorized wheelchairs should be mindful to ensure that motorists can see them and predict their behaviour. The use of bright clothing and hand signals are both good ideas.

More information: