For many Australians, mobility equipment represents freedom, often providing a lifeline to the outside world for people who may otherwise be housebound and isolated from society.
Many of us have seen an increase in the number of scooters and wheelchairs in our communities in recent years driven by Australia’s ageing population. There are currently 120,000 mobility scooter users Australia-wide – a number that is expected to reach 280,000 within 10 years.
While the value they bring to people’s lives is clear to see, it’s important for mobility equipment users, pedestrians and drivers alike to be aware of one another to ensure everyone’s safety.
There are a series of safety tips and resources available on Blue Badge Community.
For mobility scooter users, it’s important to make sure mobility scooters are a safe choice for you before purchasing one, get the right level of training before using your scooter, ensure you are aware of the regulations for using mobility scooters in your state and that you are using the right safety accessories for your needs.
For drivers and pedestrians, the most important thing is to look out for scooters and be aware, be patient and be considerate.
Below are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Keep an eye out for mobility equipment as you go about your day:
- Double check footpath traffic when reversing your car, particularly from driveways
- If you encounter a scooter or wheelchair on the road, slow down and allow at least a metre gap when passing them in your car
- Give mobility equipment users plenty of time to cross the road
- As a pedestrian, be prepared to give way to scooters and wheelchairs if the footpath narrows or is under construction
- Don’t obstruct access – keep your bins off the footpath
- Keep vegetation in front of your house maintained so it doesn’t encroach onto footpaths
- With greater awareness, we can create a safer and more pleasant environment for everyone.