By Paul Hemsley
Holroyd City Council’s push for the state government to crackdown on motorised scooter use has been rejected at the Local Government and Shires Associations of New South Wales (LGSA) Conference in Dubbo.
This loss is a roadblock for local government calls for tougher regulation of the use of motorised scooters and electric wheelchairs following a series of accidents involving scooter drivers, road users and pedestrians.
It means the council’s request for licencing users and a clear differentiation between pedestrians and motorised scooters will not receive the attention of the NSW government through the LGSA.
The council’s submission called for the NSW government to require motorised scooter owners to obtain a ‘Certificate of Ownership and Competence’.
Its original submission to the LGSA said that it was concerned about the “lack of controls and skills of elderly people and other needy persons”.
It said “these people create a public hazard” by riding motorised scooters and electric wheelchairs on paths and roads without any regulator controls imposed on the scooters or the drivers.
Holroyd has not been the lone voice among local councils to push a state government to introduce regulations on scooter use.
In March 2012, Ballina Shire Council made a call for the state government to regulate scooter use by writing to Ballina MP Don Page about the lack of legislation on their use.
Later in October 2012, an accident occurred in the Ballina area where a 92-year-old woman on a motorised scooter ploughed into the back of two elderly pedestrians, causing serious injuries.
In July 2012, the car in which Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was travelling in Brisbane collided with a scooter, breaking the rider’s leg as she was knocked off. Mr Abbott was unharmed.
Regulations on motorised scooters are already strict as the NSW Roads and Maritime Service (RMS) states that the vehicles with or without seats are banned on roads and public areas.
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