On Wednesday, June 27th, Hampton Court Retirement Home parking lot was abuzz with scooters at the ‘Scooter Rodeo’ hosted by Pharmasave Home Health & Mobility.
Many people are not aware that scooters/power chairs are considered a ‘pedestrian’ and, therefore, must follow the same rules.
They are to be ridden on the sidewalk, going no faster than a walking pace. This is to prevent running into people coming out of stores and those who are walking on the sidewalk. If there are no sidewalks available, scooters/power chairs are to be driven on the left side of the road, facing traffic just as a pedestrian would walk. This is a point that most motorists do not know and tend to get upset with the person driving the scooter/power chair.
It is beneficial for scooters/power chairs to cross at intersections with lights or cross walks. This could potentially avoid an altercation with a vehicle. If a vehicle comes to an intersection where the light is red, they must stop at the designated spot to let a scooter/power chair pass. If the car is already in the intersection, waiting for traffic to pass so they can proceed, a scooter/power chair must wait until the path is clear to cross the road.
For anyone who drives a scooter/power chair, it is advisable to have a flag attached and/or have a reflective vest/shirt put over the back of their seat so that the chair is visible at all times.
Scooters/power chairs are legally allowed to be driven in stores and any indoor areas where it is safe to do so. If there is clearly not enough room, it is a judgment call on behalf of the scooter/power chair operator but they are not at liberty to put others in danger or cause any damage.
For those of us who do not use scooters/power chairs, we are not familiar with the challenges that may be experienced while driving them in the community.
If there are any concerns regarding sidewalks or roads that are not easily assessable, or traffic lights that don’t allow a scooter/power chair enough time to safely cross, please contact Jenn Conley or Joe Flarity at Pharmasave and they will pass the information on to the appropriate people.
“We are also thankful for the local businesses that contributed to both the Elgin Lodge and Hampton Court Scooter Rodeos,” said Jenn Conley. “We were able to give away great prizes from Pharmasave, Giant Tiger, Tim Hortons, and Offshore Bakery.”