Providing mobility

With more and more Tatura residents taking the option of maintaining their mobility by purchasing a motorised scooter to get around town, Victoria Police and VicRoads are reminding all users of their obligations and the need for care, not only to protect themselves, but also pedestrians.

August 7, 2014 3:55am

Freedom: Syd West, parked at one of the free mobile scooter battery chargers in Tatura, enjoys the benefit of maintaining his mobility.

Motorised scooters and wheelchairs are classed as pedestrians under the road rules — Victorian Government Gazette, October 1999.

‘‘As a pedestrian, scooter users must travel on the footpath or nature strip whenever possible,’’ they say.

‘‘Users are also allowed to use off-road bicycle paths.’’

Police and VicRoads advise scooter users to try and find the easiest and safest routes to travel.

They suggest if a particular route is difficult, scooter users could ask their council to make it easier and safer.

‘‘There may be times when you need to travel on the road, for example if there are no footpaths or crossing places, or there may be overhanging branches,’’ the rules say.

As scooters, which are generally quiet share the footpaths with pedestrians, many people are not used to seeing them, so it’s advised to travel on the left side of the footpath (wherever possible), travel at a speed that will enable a quick stop if necessary, warn pedestrians when turning by using indicators and be mindful of where a scooter is stopped and parked — never block a building entrance, gate or driveway.

When crossing the road, scooter users are most at risk of accident.

‘‘Because you are travelling at walking speed, about 10km/h, follow the same steps you would as a pedestrian,’’ police and VicRoads say.

‘‘Remember you are sitting lower, so you cannot see, or be seen, as easily as a pedestrian.’’

To cross a road safely, choose a safe place, one where you have a clear view of the road and approaching traffic. If in the main street (Hogan St), use one of the two pedestrian crossings.

Don’t expect cars to stop for you, particularly at uncontrolled crossing places, and use the ‘Stop, Look, Listen and Think’ approach.

Stop as close to the edge of the kerb as you can.

Look for traffic in all directions.

Listen for traffic you may not be able to see; and

Think do you have enough time to cross safely?

Most of all, police and VicRoads advise scooter users to take extra care in poor light and be safe at all times.

Scooter users are reminded that Greater Shepparton City Council installed free battery charge units around town about two years ago, should users’ batteries go flat when out and about.

These are located at Stuart Mock Place in Hogan St, the library in Casey St and Senior Citizens Clubrooms in Flanagan Place.

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