Scooter users get safety lesson

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Mobility scooters are becoming more common in Norfolk County as the population ages.

“Within the next 10 years, there are going to be a lot more of these things on the road,” said Const. Mike Jones, technical traffic collision investigator with the Norfolk County OPP, during a presentation at the Delhi Senior Friendship Centre on Monday.

The electric-powered devices help those with mobility problems run errands and travel around town.

While scooters offer independence to their users, they also pose a safety hazard if they are not used properly.

“What we have been seeing more and more of is pedestrian traffic, e-bikes and scooters, getting into serious collisions,” said Jones.

Jones noted many people are unsure of the bylaws that govern such new and emerging vehicles such as mobility scooters.

“I hear a lot of questions about where should I be on the roadway? Can I be on the roadway?” said Jones.

“Use the sidewalk, short, sweet and simple. Use the sidewalk whenever possible,” he said.

While scooters are allowed to be on the road when necessary, they should be driven on the left hand side, facing traffic. Scooters should have reflective devices, including a flag and reflective vests for the driver, to help increase visibility to motorists.

Jones cautioned all scooter operators to refrain from using their scooters on highways or back roads. There are no sidewalks available on these roads, forcing scooter users onto the roads. However most motorists would not anticipate seeing a scooter and because they are traveling at a high rate of speed, it will take more time for the driver to slow down and avoid the scooter.

Helmets are not required while operating a scooter but can be wore at the discretion of the driver. Mobility scooters cannot have passengers.

Scooter users do not require a driver's licence or vehicle insurance.

Sarah Doktor

519-426-3528 ext. 112

sarah.doktor@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/sarahreformer

 

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