Scooters And One Wheels

Security of mobility scooter customers in highlight


Janet McDonald, of Timaru, trying out a new mobility scooter at the Age Concern South Canterbury mobility scooter safety course.

A safety course for riders of mobility scooters was held in Timaru on Thursday for the first time in several years.

Timaru Senior Citizens community co-ordinator Chris Thomas said the course had been in the pipeline for months, but a recent incident where 95-year-old Thomas Casey died after his mobility scooter collided with a car, had highlighted the importance of offering the course .

“There hasn’t been [a mobility scooter safety course] for a number of years, the last one was about five to seven years ago,” he said.

“I would like to do them more regularly, I do plan to possibly do them yearly.”

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“And It would be really great to do them in small towns like Temuka, Geraldine and Twizel.”

Thomas said the tragic death earlier this month was not the first time a mobility scooter user had been hit by a car in Timaru, and he hoped the course could become more regular to help users stay safe.

“There are some instances where accidents do happen to people on mobility scooters that no amount of safety courses can prevent,” he said.

The course was designed for beginners, people thinking about getting a mobility scooter and a refresher course for people who use them already, Thomas said.


Ernie Elston testing his skills in the obstacle course at the mobility scooter safety course.

The course covered more than just driving it, it covered how to charge it properly, how to safely carry things on it, and how to approach people in cars backing out of driveways.

“Mobility scooters are not cars, when you are on one you are a pedestrian, and you must always behave like a pedestrian,” Thomas said.

He said those who attended had a lot of fun and learned a lot – with a few giggles as road cones were bumped in the process.

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