I would like to reply to the article that was presented about mobility scooters and the inference that it broadcast about scooter users of which I am one.
As a user I feel that a grave injustice has been done to the real users, the people like myself who really need to use mobility scooters.
In the article we were slammed by innuendos in the proper and not proper use of our vehicles, even though we are to be treated as pedestrians.
So if this is so and we drive within the walking pace on the crowded shopping centre streets, are we not then allowed to drive as the other pedestrians allow.
By this I mean that there are pedestrians who stand in positions that force us into driving close to shop fronts, or they make us wait until their conversation is finished until we can get through even though one step would allow us to pass.
Others walk straight at us in groups allowing passage only close to shop fronts.
All of this aside, there are the situations where coffee shops and takeaways in McBride and Graham Streets that move there tables and chairs all over the foot paths blocking passage, the pub with fixed seats and hoardings that reduce the area to move and when their patrons gather in this place they stand in the pathway not willing to move to let us through.
Then there are the various trades men, Telstra, cyclists and rightfully mothers with their prams and children – negotiating passage can be difficult in many of these situations.
For those of us that need our scooters it is serious business for us to do the right thing at all times, but it is noticed by us that many are not needy users of scooters or electric wheelchairs.
We often see some on one of these vehicles stop outside a shop and run in there or even run up the street, not displaying any need for the vehicle they use.
Others we know use a scooter because they lost their license. But what about the teenagers who have the two wheel electric bike type scooters that are capable of doing 40km/h, who scream down the footpaths with pillion passengers, and don’t seem to have any care for others.
I believe that I speak on behalf of all the genuine users of Mobility Scooters and Electric Wheelchairs, that we are really concerned for the way that we use our vehicles, because this is our only form of transport.
We don’t have a car at home, we cannot move as other pedestrians.
To us these are a necessary piece of our lives, just like healthy legs are to others, so please don’t condemn us, the real users, until you have experienced what we must do to have a reasonable life.
Having said all of this, I wish to thank the author for bringing awareness to some situations that are a concern for us, because there are some out there that are doing the wrong thing with their vehicles and we are bearing the blame, the shame and the persecution of their actions.
We may be broken, we may be old but we are not silly.
Thomas Hardy, Wonthaggi.