Director of the TZOMET institute for Torah Law and Technology Rabbi Yisrael Rosen insists the Mobility Scooter they developed for Sabbath usage is permissible for transporting individuals with limited mobility on the Sabbath, despite a recent Chief Rabbinate ruling against this. “The late Rabbis Shlomo Zalman Auerbach and Mordechai Eliyahu approved it, as did Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. A special personal section in Heaven awaits those who grant Sabbath relief and mobility to such unfortunate individuals, no longer confined to their homes and never again prevented from attending synagogue services thanks to this excellent development launched some 25 years ago.”
The premise of the permissibility of using the electric-battery operated Mobility Scooter is the fact that it has been technologically equipped with a special system developed by TZOMET. The system recognizes the pressure on the operation switch, and delays the engine reaction by a certain amount of time. As a result of this delay, the act of pressing the scooter controls does not directly activate any electrical circuitry or combustion and this delayed reaction has been permitted by many Torah Authorities when applied only the exclusive benefit of the handicapped or otherwise disabled.
A little more information:
Torah Law prohibits particular activities on the Sabbath when carried out directly with immediate results. When the result is delayed, as with the Mobility Scooter, the prohibition becomes secondary, or Rabbinical. Such Rabbinical prohibitions must be observed by all healthy individuals. When circumstances of health limitations prevail, Rabbinical Law states that there can be some flexibility, hence the Halakhic approach to sometimes permit usage of the Scooter under specific circumstances.