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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Water in Lake Cowichan just fine, says acting mayor

Tim McGonigle said there is no truth to rumours of water advisories

Cowichan Caps help BCHL score commitment record

The BCHL saw 172 players commit to post-secondary institutions this past season

Murray Hatfield and Teresa present evening of magic and comedy streaming live May 29

The Duncan Volunteer Fire Department is inviting you to an evening of magic and comedy

Chemainus animal sanctuary needs your vote in nationwide contest

RASTA is up for $5,000 from Nutram; contest runs until May 31

Woman charged in fatal accident back in court on June 2

Sara Rosetta Thomas faces six charges in 2018 incident

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

As SD84 schools look to reopen, Kyuquot and Zeballos opt out

Schools in Tahsis and Gold River will open on June 1, with 30 per cent students expected to come in

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

Most Read