Calls for increased mobility scooter and powerchair regulations following Turvey Park crash

Wagga residents have called for increased regulations surrounding mobility devices following a crash at Turvey Park. 

It comes after a 70-year-old man was rushed to hospital last week after a school bus crashed into his mobility scooter. 

The man suffered lacerations to his head and hands on impact and the scooter was written off. 

Better Mobility manager Austin Gregor said although customers were provided with a manual outlining the regulations, not all of them choose to read it or purchased a second-hand device online. 

“They’re not cars, they don’t have the same capabilities and shouldn’t be treated like one,” he said. 

“People driving them need to be more aware but the community also needs to be more mindful of their limitations.” 

Mr Gregor said residents were often forced onto the roads due to poor footpaths and steered clear of the grass to avoid punctures. 

“We do pretty well for footpaths but there’s always room for improvement, especially around the older parts of the city,” he said. 

“They don’t make it easy for people to get up and down them, that’s why they do out on the road and dart in and out.” 

Some residents have called for owners to register scooters and powerchairs. 

The Daily Advertiser took a powerchair for a spin on Tuesday to discover the difficulties of traveling on a typical Wagga road. 

With no footpaths around or traffic lights ahead, we were forced to take on the busy road. 

Ashmont mother-of-three Amy Saurine might not have to get around in a mobility scooter but she still has difficulty making her way around the streets of Wagga. 

The current regulations.

The current regulations.

Ms Saurine said she has to leave the footpath, on average, more than five times a week during walks. 

“A lot of them have a half a footpath and then it doesn’t have one,” she said.

“Strollers aren’t good for the grass and I’m just worried there’s going to be a speeding driver who loses control.” 

Ms Saurine, like many parents around Wagga, has to watch her two young children as well as control the stroller when stepping onto the road. 

Mobility scooter user Rani Saxena said she only travels two to three kilometres an hour around shopping precincts but has difficulty when people suddenly walk or stop in front of her. 

“People come out of a shop, they don’t even look and then start to abuse you,” she said.

“Those people walking having to understand what we go through.” 

Mobility Scooters owner Jock Pearce said police should play a bigger part in enforcing the rules surrounding scooters. 

“There are lots of people doing the wrong thing,” he said. 

Mr Peace said Coolamon had adjusted their footpaths for scooters and believes Wagga should do the same.