Scooter driver Obie Wilson is concerned about scooter safety in the Cowichan Valley. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Concerns raised around proper use of scooters in Cowichan

Training and licensing not required

Obie Wilson is concerned that there will be a serious accident involving a scooter on the streets of the Cowichan Valley.

Wilson, a senior who has used a scooter for three years, said he has seen “many stupid and strange” incidents involving scooters on the roads and sidewalks of the community in that time.

“Many don’t use the crosswalks and I’ve seen a lot of near misses involving scooters,” Wilson said.

“There’s no licensing or road tests for scooter drivers, and there’s no rules for scooters to have lights or reflectors, so they are pretty much invisible to the cars. It’s only a matter of time before something really serious happens here.”

FOR RELATED STORY, CLICK HERE

By law, scooters are classified as “pedestrians” and that means that when operating a scooter, riders must obey all rules for pedestrians.

They include using sidewalks wherever possible and if there are no sidewalks, scooters must travel on the far left side of the road facing traffic.

Scooters must also obey all traffic-control signs and devices, including crossing at pedestrian crosswalks and making “eye contact” with motorists or pedestrians before crossing their path to confirm their intention to stop.

Scooter riders can receive fines for disobeying the laws for pedestrians, but it isn’t mandatory for them to attain a licence to drive a scooter, or receive any kind of training.

Blinkers and lights are also just optional.

Jean Scholefield is the manager of Duncan’s non-profit Cowichan Independent Living organization which offers a number of services and programs for those who are living with disabilities in the region, including lending out scooters to clients.

She said that before clients are loaned scooters, they must prove that they are able to drive them properly.

Scholefield said the organization’s scooters are all donated, but most already have blinkers, lights and horns when they arrive.

However, Scholefield acknowledged that people who buy their own scooters or get them from another source don’t require training to operate them, or for the scooters to have many safety features.

“There has been a few scares over the years, but no one that I know of has been seriously hurt in a scooter crash in the Valley,” she said.

“But we would suggest that people take lessons before they begin operating their scooter.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

View Royal fire chief calls for realistic solutions to ‘mess’ at Thetis Lake

Emergency crews harassed while extinguishing brush fire, rescuing drunk 15-year-old during long weekend calls

Sick Vancouver Island residents battle BC Ferries for access

Medically assured loading aboard ferries welcomed, but pair say issue is bigger

Military relocation behind Island’s many foreign licence plates?

Comox mayor points out now is a time for transition for people in the armed forces

Non-profit alleges Island Health not interested in holding people accountable for racist acts

Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour writes open letter to racism investigator

Editorial: Not helping the homeless costs money in the long run

Study determined that homeless people with mental illness generate high costs for society

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

B.C. paramedics responded to a record-breaking 2,700 overdose calls in July

Province pledges $10.5 million for expansion of overdose prevention response

Canada signs deals with Pfizer, Moderna to get doses of COVID-19 vaccines

Earlier in July both Pfizer and Moderna reported positive results from smaller trials

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

Cyclist in hospital after being hit by load of lumber hanging from truck on B.C. highway

A man is in hospital with broken ribs, punctured lung and a broken clavicle and scapula

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Rebound recovery program helps more than 50 PQB businesses remain open

Nearly $90K in aid received through Oceanside Initiatives plan

Drive-in movies are coming to Port McNeill

Gate House Theatre expects to start running shows by September

85-year-old Island woman sprints in worldwide virtual track meet

‘A lot of the old dears don’t want to be out there sprinting, or doing what I do’

Most Read