Scooter safety

Safe choices begin with your choice of scooter

Before buying a scooter, be sure to check with an occupational therapist or physiotherapist to ensure that the model you select best meets your needs. Most suppliers will bring different scooters to you so you can try them before making your purchase.

Mobility scooter safety

Considerations when purchasing your scooter

Before you purchase a scooter, the following should be considered:

Think safe! Obey rules for pedestrians

By law, scooters are classified as "pedestrians". Therefore, when you are operating your scooter, you must obey all rules for pedestrians such as:

Be a courteous pedestrian

Transporting your scooter

When choosing a scooter, it is important to choose one that can be carried easily by car, van, or transit. Ask the vendor the following:

Practice taking your scooter on transit. Coast Mountain Bus Company does "scooter try-outs" one day of each month at the Vancouver Transit Centre: 9149 Hudson Street, Vancouver. To make an appointment, call 604-264-5420.

Learn to use your scooter

It is essential that you know how to operate your scooter properly before venturing out into the public. When you first purchase your scooter, find a quiet parking lot and practice there. Once you feel comfortable that you can safely operate your scooter, find a friend who will travel with you on foot or scooter for your first few trips.

In addition, make sure you read the manual and any other safety information that may be supplied with your scooter.

Safe manoeuvring of curb cuts

Take curb cuts, driveways and ramps "head on" and always drive on the most level area of the curb cut, even if it means moving outside of the crosswalk lines. If you drive sideways on a curb cut, you could tip over.

Know your area

Get familiar with the most navigable routes in your neighbourhood. Be aware of the locations of curbs that do not have curb cuts or streets that do not have sidewalks. This way, you can avoid these routes if possible by planning ahead.

Allow yourself plenty of time in case unforeseeable circumstances arise, such as construction. You may need to cross the street, take an alternative route, or even back track.

Be visible

Be aware that when you are traveling by scooter, you are at a height disadvantage to the other users of the road and sidewalk. Make sure you have the following:

Be prepared for unexpected circumstances

Carry a cellular phone or enough change to make a phone call from a pay phone. Carry phone numbers in case you encounter unexpected circumstances. You may want to take emergency phone numbers onto your scooter.

In an emergency situation, attract the attention of a passer-by and ask them to phone for help. In the Lower Mainland, you can dial "9-1-1" for emergency assistance.

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