WITH motorised scooter use on the rise across Australia, the children of the elderly and frail play the biggest role in keeping them safe on the city’s streets and roads, according to Paul McCarthy from the Canobolas Personal Mobility Group and owner of Astley Mobility.
Commenting on a joint finding yesterday by the NRMA and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission that scooter use is higher in regional areas such as Orange, Mr McCarthy said education was the key to keeping users safe as they negotiated the busy traffic in Orange’s central business district.
In the ACCC and NRMA report respondents to a survey talked about incidents where their safety had been compromised by drivers and pedestrians ignoring them, or the scooters becoming involved in collisions.
“Most of the people we sell scooters to are for people who are buying them for their elderly parents,” Mr McCarthy said.
“We always assess people first as to their suitability to use a scooter and they need to start off very slowly until they are familiar with their use.
“You can’t just get a scooter and take it home and put it in the garage ready for the first time you want to use it.”
Mr McCarthy said navigating their way safely around the central business district and other parts of Orange remains a major challenge for Orange’s scooter users due to the high traffic volumes and access issues.
He said he would like Orange City Council to take a lead from other councils who publish maps with the safest routes to navigate through busy areas of the city.
Cr Glenn Taylor, who is head of Orange City Council’s access committee, said a review by the Roads and Maritime Services of pedestrian safety in the central business district should take into consideration the needs of motorised scooter and mobility aids users.