Leading mobility scooter importer and retailer, Scooters Australia, welcomes the probe into the mobility scooter industry by the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee, announced recently.
The enquiry has been spearheaded by Senator John Williams since his wife was involved in an accident with a mobility scooter and injured her hip.
Managing Director of Scooters Australia, Peter Fraser, said that the safety issue of mobility scooters might be settled once and for all if the committee investigates the issue thoroughly.
“Australia already has some of the strictest regulations regarding mobility scooters in the world and if the committee is serious about looking at international practices, the mobility scooter industry has nothing to hide,” said Mr Fraser.
“Mr Williams has admitted that over a ten year period from 2000 to 2010 only sixty-two people had died as a result of incidents involving mobility scooters.”
“That’s less than one per state per year for a mobility product that gives untold thousands of people independence and freedom when they might otherwise be housebound,” he said.
According to Mr Fraser, the biggest problem with scooter safety is the appalling lack of infrastructure for anything other than motor cars in Australia.
“There has been a consistent lack of attention to providing better footpaths, cycle paths, and facilities for mobility scooters, bicycles and pedestrians all over Australia, and particularly in regional cities and towns where mobility scooter users often have to travel on the edge of the road because there are no footpaths,” he said.
“Mr Williams’ wife was injured in a country town and my own in-laws cannot use a mobility scooter in their coastal town because of the lack of footpaths,” said Mr Fraser.
“Instead of wasting yet more money on an enquiry, the Federal government should be paying a lot more attention to what the rest of the world is doing in providing decent infrastructure for people who use mobility scooters to get around their community,” he said.
“Mobility scooters already have the best the safest record which will only improve with better footpaths to accommodate the inevitable increase in popularity of this form of local transport,” he said.