Safe driving a two-way street
MAVIS Jenkins should not have to worry every time she ventures out on her mobility scooter that she will be struck by a car.
But she does.
After hearing that two scooter operators have been hit in Hervey Bay in recent weeks that worry has amplified, particularly when Ms Jenkins regularly crosses roads without pedestrian crossings.
“There aren't any crossings in Elizabeth Street and it's a very busy street,” the 79-year-old said. “I try to avoid the busy hours as much as possible but that can't always happen.”
On Tuesday morning, an 85-year-old scooter driver suffered minor injuries when he was struck by a car in Pialba. A female driver was charged.
On October 12, 89-year-old George Fox was thrown from his mobility scooter when it was hit on Boat Harbour Drive.
The Golden Shores resident was taken to hospital with injuries to his forehead, left arm and left leg.
Julie de Waard of the Hervey Bay Mobility Scooter Safety Committee says scooter drivers and vehicle drivers need to be careful and aware of each other.
“We can see from the recent incidents that it is not always the scooter rider's fault, so we are asking for other road users to also take care and to be observant,” Ms de Waard said. “If we can get the awareness message across then hopefully we can prevent future incidents.”
The committee runs education sessions in Hervey Bay to teach scooter riders about the rules associated with the vehicles.
But it has to be a two-way street, Ms de Waard said.
“While scooter riders have to be aware of vehicles, vehicle drivers need to be aware that the number of scooters is going to increase.
“Scooters are very important.
“It is important to remember that one day we too may no longer be able to drive or have access to a car and will be looking for transport and trying to hang on to our independence for as long as possible.”
For information on the scooter education sessions phone Ms de Waard on 4125 6329.