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MOBILITY SCOOTERS UNDER THE MICROSCOPE

Mobility Scooters

A Senate inquiry will consider whether mobility scooters need greater regulation to ensure the users and pedestrians are safer.

The Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee will conduct the inquiry following a motion moved by the Nationals Senator for New South Wales John Williams.

Senator Williams’ wife was seriously injured when she was struck by a mobility scooter as she stepped onto a footpath in August last year, and upon investigation he found that while there are different regulations in different States, generally there are few restrictions. 

He said this was concerning considering the scooters are treated as pedestrians if they cannot travel faster than 10 kilometres per hour, yet at that speed they are travelling at twice the speed of the pedestrians they are mixing with on footpaths and in shopping centres.

Senator Williams said the terms of reference calls on the committee to investigate the causes of deaths and injuries attributed to accidents involving mobility scooters, what regulations controlling their use currently exist and the regulatory role of government and non-government organisations.

He stressed he was not seeking a ban on mobility scooters because he totally understands the independence they give hundreds of thousands of Australians, but hopes the committee will deliver recommendations that will make their use safer to help prevent deaths and injuries.

Submissions are being accepted now and close on the 13th of March next year, with the report to be tabled by the 20th of September. 

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