Mobility scooter user seeks safe riding advice

Dear Street Smarts, Q: I recently received a power scooter and would like to know if there regulations or information about use on the streets and/or sidewalks. It is a power scooter for the elderly and/or disabled. I am 94 years of age and not able to walk very far. It is for me to get around the area I have lived for over 59 years. I do not wish to violate any regulation or common courtesy and still feel safe. It is a good way for me to get out of the house. I thank you for helping me and for the service to the community. Lloyd Sherman via email A: The topic of mobility scooters and where they should travel has been in Street Smarts quite a bit during the last few months. On the one hand, mobility scooter users are considered pedestrians and could ride on sidewalks, yet a law enacted in 2008 allows scooter users to ride in the bicycle lane. I've heard from scooter users who prefer to travel in bike lanes or on the side of the street, saying they feel safer there for a variety of reasons, such as more visibility by car traffic and the logistics of using sidewalks with certain scooters. Below are links to the three Street Smarts articles about mobility scooters that appeared since June 2011. Also, while we're on the topic, I've noticed that some power scooter users try to make themselves as visible as possible to avoid being struck by drivers. That includes attaching brightly colored or American flags to their ride and wearing bright and/or reflective clothing, vests or jackets. Perhaps, head over to your nearest bicycle shop and find some items to decorate your chair to enhance visibility. A horn won't hurt either. Whether you choose to ride in the street or sidewalk or a combination of both, we see drivers everyday who aren't paying attention, blow through stop signs, fail to stop at red lights when making right turns and blast out of driveways. Decorate your power scooter to tell them you are there, giving them a visible reason to take pause. Also, since you're going to be out an about in a different form of transportation than you are used to, I wanted to give you the link and contact information to the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission's Elderly & Disabled Transportation Advisory Committee, which strives to improve access those with mobility issues. The link: http://sccrtc.org/meetings/elderly-disabled/ Contact: Karena Pushnik, Senior Transportation Planner, info@sccrtc.org or (831) 460-3200. Good luck and take care out there!
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3 Responses to Mobility scooter user seeks safe riding advice

  1. perspective2 says:

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  2. u00a0If only there’s a regulation and own lane for those who use mobility scooter it would be better. They really need protection against other vehicles since they are driving the same way.

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