Blainey Woodham

Council calls to regulate scooters

MOBILITY scooter "hoons" could soon be brought back into line with tougher rules and regulations.

Yesterday Ballina Shire Council voted to write to Ballina MP Don Page about the lack of legislation for mobility scooters, also called gophers or motorised wheelchairs.

Ballina has been dubbed the "scooter capital of the world", and more and more are being used in inappropriate ways on footpaths.

A report to councillors stated that there has been an increase in hospitalisations related to mobility scooter accidents.

"There is a substantial emerging trend in relation to deaths and serious injuries among persons aged 60 years and over," the report states.

"Falls, collisions with motor vehicles, collisions with objects and roll-overs are common circumstances of injury."

Although gophers provide elderly and disabled people with the opportunity for independent access and transport, the report said there were problems that must be addressed:

There are very few regulations.

You don't need a licence.

You don't need third party insurance.

The scooter does not need to be registered.

There is no formal test to take before using your scooter.

However with more scooters filling the footpaths, the council said the State Government needed to introduce tougher rules and regulations.

Cr Peter Moore said council agreed there were problems with scooter use, and voted that mayor Phillip Silver assist staff in preparing advocacy to Mr Page.

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