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

Authorities call for calm as fires burn near Zeballos

Authorities are asking residents not to panic as several wildfires burn near… Continue reading

Esquimalt man faces four charges of sexual assault, investigators suspect more victims

71-year old Kit Wong practiced acupuncture from his home during the time of the assaults

Last surviving member of Canada’s greatest female basketball team of all time dies

Comox resident Kay MacRitchie MacBeth played guard for the world-champion Edmonton Grads

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

One officer’s RCMP musical ride of a lifetime

RCMP officer Rusty Olsen shares experience with famed Musical Ride

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

Altidore nets 3 as Toronto drubs Whitecaps 5-2

Vancouver falls 7-4 on aggregate in Canadian Championship final

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Mounties deployed to help B.C. communities affected by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to places particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Chinese medicine practitioner in B.C. facing historical sex assault charges

71-year old Kit Wong practiced acupuncture from his home during the time of the assaults

Quebec sets aside $900 million for companies hurt by U.S. tariffs

Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will make $863 million available over five years

Ex-B.C. teachers’ union leader among latest pipeline protesters to get jail time

Twelve people have been sentenced for violating court order to stay away from Kinder Morgan terminal

Most Read