Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

Watch Out, Disabled Hoons About!

1 Dec 2011Penrith Council have recently discussed implementing a speed limit around the Penrith area, for people who use mobility scooters, as reported in the Penrith Press newspaper on Monday.

With information emerging from frightened shoppers in Penrith’s local Westfield shopping centre, and the CBD, claiming that they fear they will be run down and hurt by these scooter driving hooligans who seem to think they are the only ones in their immediate vicinity.

Now come on people, when a scooter is in operation, it usually tends to go at a maximum speed of 6km/hr, that’s almost 4miles/hr. I hardly think that an elderly or disabled person can cause that much havoc whilst driving a scooter through a shopping mall.

After doing some research, I found that the average walking speed of a human is around 5km/hr, so if speed limit signs are going to be put up in shopping centres and other high traffic areas, does that mean that people will have to slow down as well?! To me, it seems a little bit like discrimination.

The people I have a bigger problem with, is with those who decide to stop to do something, or chat with a friend, right in the middle of a shopping mall, or those in a large group, who fan out in a big line and walk at a snail’s pace so no one can pass.

People seem to panic when something on wheels comes towards them. I see this a lot even with myself, especially around older people. I like to ‘speed’ through shopping centres when I’m on my own, (doing a hooning speed of about 6km!) and I always notice that when some people see me, they freak out and try and hug a wall or pillar to get out of my way. I’m not in a wheelchair because I am blind; I’m not going to run you down, so if you just stay where you are, I will go around YOU!

To read the original article that was featured in the Penrith Press, click here: http://penrith-press.whereilive.com.au/news/story/penrith-councillors-bid-to-put-speed-limit-on-scooters/ - but be sure to read the comments.

The question that most commonly seems to arise is about how the speed limits would be ‘policed’. One reader suggested to ‘confiscate the scooter if the driver repeatedly offends’, excuse me? How about if you’re caught running through a shopping centre, we ‘confiscate’ your legs? That’s just ridiculous. Others have said that the council is being petty and should be focusing on more important issues, like speeding cars that take lives and cause our states road toll to increase.

In most shopping centres, skateboards and recreational scooters are banned, but I hardly think that comparing these to devices like wheelchairs or a mobility scooter is appropriate. I’m sure most of the hooligans behind the wheels of these death defying mobility aids would much prefer to be able to walk around to do their shopping instead of relying on something that has to do it for them. I know I would.

For goodness sake, I hope this is just another stupid idea that does blow over, otherwise, from now on, when people say, ‘slow down, you’ll get fined for speeding in that thing’, their silly, patronizing comments will be warranted! But, for now and in the future, I advise that people just be a little bit more aware of electric wheelchairs and scooters when out doing their shopping. Look left, look right!



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Previous Comments

manish batra from Indore posted on 4 May 2015
Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the TA-BLE, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.Scooter For Handicapped PersonKeep Posting:)

Mal Codling from Aust posted on 27 Oct 2012
Totally agree & want people to be responsible for their actions. Both of the comments are about a year old & nothing has been resolved. The 'powers that be' continually whinge, report or discuss these issues but haven't got the guts to act on any ideas to curb the Motorized Mobility mentality, from fellow 'Pedestrians'. As was said "Look right, look left". I'll be back!

Curly from WA posted on 27 Dec 2011
Our local shopping centre has had to put up signs to tell these hoons to keep to walking pace. Some of the scooters now can go as fast as 15k's. Plus, many of those riding them think that others have to give way to them or have bad eyesight and cannot see you. Many have had to stop driving because they cannot see well enough, so use the scooters even though they are blind. I use a stick, and have had scooter riders roar past and actuaally knock my stick from beneath me. When stopped by a security guard, one of them actually had the gall to say that I should have seen him coming behind me and got out of the way. If you have not come across the hoons that the rest of us have, you are either lucky or are not in shopping centres at the right time;.

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