Scooters deemed dangerous

Mosgiel resident Bill Bennett says it is just a matter of time before a pedestrian is injured by a mobility scooter. Photos by Craig Baxter.
Mosgiel resident Bill Bennett says it is just a matter of time before a pedestrian is injured by a mobility scooter. Photos by Craig Baxter.
A Mosgiel resident says something has to be done about ''grey racers'' stalking the town's streets.

Mosgiel resident Bill Bennett (75) said the scooters were so quiet they were ''just about on you before you notice them''.

''You get a hell of a fright, because they are so silent.''

Scooters had been causing problems for pedestrians in the town for ''a few years now'', with an increase in the number of scooters coinciding with a rise in the number of elderly people retiring in the town, he said.

The Dunedin City Council needed to do something to fix the problem or a pedestrian would be injured.

Mobility scooter rider and Mosgiel resident Mary White says most riders are careful around pedestrians.
Mobility scooter rider and Mosgiel resident Mary White says most riders are careful around pedestrians.
One option was for the council to put in dedicated scooter lanes on the footpath of the town's main street, he said.

He had not noticed any improvement since a safety workshop for scooter users was held in the town last October.

Mobility scooter user and Mosgiel resident Mary White (85) felt the situation was not as bad as Mr Bennett and others had suggested and that most scooter riders were careful.

''I don't see that it's all that bad. I don't think that there are all that many scooters around here anyway,'' she said.

Council senior traffic engineer Ron Minnema said after being involved in the safety workshops last year, the council had no further plans when it came to mobility scooters.

It was not considering putting in dedicated scooter lanes, he said.

''It is unlikely they would be wide enough to put in a centre line.''

Mr Bennett contacted the Otago Daily Times after fellow Mosgiel resident Mike Smith expressed concern in a letter to the editor about the threat posed by mobility scooters, calling the town the ''mobility scooter capital of the world'' and dubbing scooter riders ''grey racers''.

- vaughan.elder@odt.co.nz

Mosgiel

The people of Mosgiel township, I'm sure, are pleased to support those with age or disability getting out and about, enjoying their mobility. The flat topography of the area, accessibility, temperate climate, and the relatively low population are the drawcard for easy living and retirement. It's simple enough to spot the odd mobility scooter user needing 'cautionary correction' for the safety of other street users.  Don't make it a problem, speak nicely to the scooter driver or contact a nice police officer with some details. Courtesy gets you everywhere.

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