Ladysmith councillor Rob Johnson is concerned about scooter safety.
June 11, 2008 · Updated 2:48 PM
Ladysmith councillor Rob Johnson is concerned about scooter safety. As the community ages, he sees more seniors using electric scooters to get around town and hes worried about their safety and the safety of passing pedestrians.
Id like the province to consider standardized safety rules, regulations and maybe even a licensing program, said Johnson. Right now scooters are not recognized under the Motor Vehicle Act, like bikes, so they must be driven on the sidewalks and I can see that causing problems. These devices can get up to 30 kilometres an hour. My nightmare would be to see someone with a baby-stroller step out of a store and get hit by a scooter.
At its Dec. 2 meeting, Ladysmith town council supported Johnsons idea and is now preparing a draft resolution to be presented at the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Municipalities conference in March. If approved by the AVICC, it would go onto the Union of B.C. Municipalities, which makes recommendations to the provincial government to make new legislation.
Johnson said its too early to say what the regulations would look like, but he envisions some kind of certificate of competency issued to scooter operators who would take a basic test.
I hope by bringing this issue forward we can open up debate on the subject, said Johnson. We have to look after the safety of our seniors and the safety of the public.
While the motion to draft a resolution was passed by council, councillor Doug Fraser did not support the idea. He wanted more information and statistical data on the risks and the affect regulations would have on the community.
Im not opposed to the idea, but Id like to know the consequences something like this would have on our community, he said.
There are too many unanswered questions. Will we have to upgrade our sidewalks? And what happens to those seniors who dont pass the test. Many people in our community rely on scooters to get around.
Because the RCMP does not track scooter accidents and electric scooters are a relatively new means of transportation, there are no hard numbers, said Johnson.
I dont want to create more problems for people. I just want to ensure everyone is safe, he said.