Demand to test scooter users before they drive

BREAKTHROUGH: Milly Shaw uses a mobility scooter for medical reasons and says she has regained her independence.
BREAKTHROUGH: Milly Shaw uses a mobility scooter for medical reasons and says she has regained her independence. Sarah Harvey

A MOBILITY scooter advocate has called for stringent safety regulations for mobility scooters in the lead-up to an awareness campaign.

Walk on Wheels Ipswich manager Lauren Antonenko said mobility scooter users should be tested in the same manner elderly drivers are for their licences each year.

Her calls for regulations comes as both mobility scooter users and the public continue to be at odds over how the form of transport should be used.

"There comes a point where there has to be an assessment procedure so they are able to safely operate the scooter," she said.

Ms Antonenko recalled an occasion where she spotted an elderly man who had stopped his scooter at a set of lights in Brassall among traffic.

Motorists began honking their horns at the man to alert him of potential danger he was in.

She said they were situations which should be avoided.

"An increasing number of motorised scooters are now being used in our community, however many mobility scooter users remain a little confused as to their obligations when it comes to safely operating their machines on footpaths and roads," she said.

A Department of Main Roads representative said mobility scooters could not be used on the road in the same way as a car.

"A wheelchair or mobility scooter can only be taken on the road if there is no footpath, pathway or nature strip available, and only where a pedestrian is allowed to walk," the representative said.

Mobility scooter user Milly Shaw said since taking up the scooter a few months ago, she had regained her independence.

"I take it to my dog training and can 'walk' around the streets with my pups," she said.

Mobility Scooter Safety, Awareness and Education Day is a free event and will be held on November 8 from 10am-2pm at Ipswich RSL Services Club, Lowry St, North Ipswich.



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