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Tips for a safe journey on your mobility scooter

Supplier: Ballina Scooters
02 March, 2012

As a general rule, you should behave in the same way as a pedestrian - if a footpath is readily accessible, you must use it.

Smooth maneuvering

  • Don't drive up or down steep slopes.
  • Never put your power chair or mobility scooter in neutral (or leave it out of gear) when on a slope.
  • Take particular care when turning and slow down when turning on sharp corners or slopes.
  • Be careful when driving on uneven surfaces.
  • Approach kerbs head-on rather than on an angle.
  • Don't let another person stand or sit on your power chair or scooter while you're using it.

Courtesy first

  • Adjust your speed to the conditions.
  • If you're traveling slowly, it's courteous to stay on one side of the footpath to allow others to get past you. Show particular consideration for the elderly or those who may have a vision or hearing impairment.
  • Don't travel faster than surrounding pedestrians, particularly if they are unable to move out of the way easily (e.g., on a crowded footpath or at a concert venue).
  • If you stop to talk to someone, turn off the key or take your hand off the power control.

See and be seen

  • Remember that drivers may find it hard to see you, because you're nearer to the ground than a motor vehicle or pedestrian. If possible, fit a flag to your power chair or scooter at a height of at least a metre off the ground to make you more visible. Brightly coloured clothes can also increase visibility.
  • If you have glasses for long-distance vision or bifocals, make sure you wear them.
  • Fitting a rear-vision mirror can help you see hazards coming up behind you.
  • Always check over your shoulder when changing direction.
  • Always listen and watch for vehicles coming out of driveways. If in doubt, wait until you're sure the way is clear.
  • Some scooters have indicators - if you have them, use them so that other road users are aware of your intentions.

Cross with care

  • Try to cross a road at a pedestrian crossing or at an intersection with Stop or Give Way signs. Where this is not possible, take particular care and don't be afraid to ask for assistance.
  • Always check very carefully that the way is clear before crossing the road.
  • Use the shortest possible path across the road.
  • Never cross where you can't see the oncoming traffic (e.g., on a hill, at a curve in the road, or where parked cars are obstructing your view).
  • Never cross without first looking across to check that you will be able to get back onto the footpath on the other side. Avoid traveling over kerbs.

Take particular care at intersections and roundabouts - cross as a pedestrian would, from footpath to footpath. If the intersection or roundabout is very busy, consider taking an alternative route.

Beware of interference

Radio wave sources, such as radio and TV stations, amateur radio transmitters, two-way radios and cell phones, may affect the operation of power chairs and motorised scooters. Don't operate hand-held personal communication devices, such as cell phones, while your power chair or scooter is switched on. Avoid going near radio or television transmitters and people who are using cell phones.

Parking

Take your hand off the power control and remove the key before getting off your scooter or power chair. Remember to take the key with you when you are leaving it unattended. If possible, park in a sheltered area.

Don't leave your power chair or scooter unattended if it is parked in the way of other pedestrians
 

Source: Ballina Scooters
Tips for a safe journey on your mobility scooter