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Mobility scooter safety top priority for charitable trust

24 April 2017 – One of New Zealand’s leading providers of mobility scooters says it’s keen to engage with local authorities about mobility scooter safety and awareness.

This follows Stratford district councillor Gloria Webby saying mobility scooter users speeding along footpaths are “accidents waiting to happen”.

Life Unlimited general manager Enterprise William Hughes says the charitable trust ran mobility scooter awareness training days in Hamilton in partnership with the city council over the past two years which proved very successful in promoting mobility scooter safety.

“We see the positive change in so many people’s lives through the increased independence that a mobility scooter can provide and feel it is very important to give people a chance to see how easy they are to operate and how safe they can be.”

Life Unlimited Charitable Trust offers health and disability services, advice and equipment from its 24/7 online store and four stores in Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua and Gisborne selling a range of mobility scooters including the New Zealand exclusive Neo scooters.

“Mobility problems can lead to social isolation so it’s important to get some help at an early stage.

“It’s amazing the difference getting a mobility scooter, becoming confident using it and understanding how to look after it can make in people’s lives. Our trained staff at Life Unlimited Store provide independent advice to find the best solution for each person,” said Hughes.

“Deciding which mobility scooter or mobility aid is right for you is challenging and we understand that.”

Hughes said a 2015 literature review completed by the Research and Guidelines Steering Group of the Road Controlling Authorities Forum found significant health and safety issues attached to mobility scooters and that a coordinated and consistent approach to ensure provision of safer infrastructure, safer mobility devices and safer device operators appeared to be justified.

“We feel it is important organisations like Life Unlimited step up and take an active advocacy role around mobility scooter safety,” said Hughes.

“We’re particularly interested and focused on the skill of the operator for their own safety and for other users of footpaths and public spaces.”

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