Woodend resident Bob Kennedy attended the Walk on Wheels mobility scooter awareness day at the RSL in Ipswich, where drivers had to negotiate an obstacle course.
Woodend resident Bob Kennedy attended the Walk on Wheels mobility scooter awareness day at the RSL in Ipswich, where drivers had to negotiate an obstacle course. Sarah Harvey

Mobility scooters in training

IPSWICH mobility scooter drivers took their vehicles for a spin around an obstacle course yesterday to gain some extra proficiency on their wheels.

The scooter weaved through the course as part of at the Mobility Scooter Safety, Awareness and Education Day, run by Walk on Wheels Ipswich.

Marketing manager Lauren Antonenko said a lot of scooter drivers didn't know how to drive scooters safely.

"We had a few near misses! There was some different skill testing from fast speeds to slow speeds and coming to a complete stop," she said.

"It was great practice for them. Somebody nearly crashed, but that was because they were being a bit silly."

The meeting covered a range of mobility scooter issues, from registration to right of way and pedestrians, Mrs Antonenko said.

One of the most common complaints was pedestrians texting on mobiles and walking into scooters on the footpath.

Bob Kennedy of Woodend said he'd had to stop when approaching when pedestrians were completely occupied with their phones.

"I've had people using mobile phones and texting walk into the front of my scooter," said Mr Kennedy, who started using his scooter two years ago after back and heart problems.

In fact, his three-wheeled trundler has given him a new lease of life.

"It's made me happy. I can get out and about. I'd be stuck at home without it," he enthused.

Another scooter user, Shirley Kelly of Ipswich, agreed that oblivious mobile phone users were a real problem.

"I'm very careful, but it is not only the scooter that needs to be aware, it's the people who are on their phones," she said.

Mrs Kelly said battling the traffic around the CBD and while crossing the David Trumpy Bridge concerned her.

"I would like to see a pedestrian crossing to get onto the bridge."



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