Safely Using your Mobility Scooter

 

Safety tips Getting ready to ride

• Plan your route. The law says you must use the footpath if possible. If you have to ride on the road, see page 10 for guidelines.

• Make sure you can carry things safely. Use a carry bag, and don’t carry anything on your lap.

• Make sure your battery is fully charged.

• Know who to call if something goes wrong with your scooter while you’re out. Handling your scooter

• Don’t drive up or down steep slopes.

• Keep your scooter in gear when on a slope – not in neutral (out of gear).

• Be extra careful when turning. Slow down when you’re turning on sharp corners or slopes.

• Be careful when you’re driving on a rough or uneven surface. Slow down, and try not to drive over holes or cracks in the footpath.

• If you have to drive over a kerb, approach it head-on, not at an angle. See and be seen

• Your scooter is closer to the ground than a pedestrian or motor vehicle, so it may be hard for drivers to see you. If possible, fit a brightly coloured flag to your scooter. The flag should be at least one and a half metres off the ground.

• Wear brightly coloured clothes to make it easier for drivers to see you.

• If your scooter has indicators, use them to show which way you’re going to turn.

• If you need glasses for long-distance vision, you should wear them when you drive your scooter. Sunglasses may help you see more clearly when the sun is low in the sky. You might also need glasses or goggles to keep dirt and dust out of your eyes in strong winds. Ready to ride Keeping safe on your mobility scooter NZ Transport Agency | 9

• A rear-view mirror helps you to see anything coming up behind you. But you should also check by looking over your shoulder before you change direction.

• Listen and watch for vehicles coming out of driveways. If you’re not sure, wait till the way is clear.

• If you use a hearing aid, you should always wear it when riding a scooter. Cross with care • Always carefully check the way is clear before crossing the road.

• Try to cross at a pedestrian crossing or at an intersection that has stop or give way signs. If this isn’t possible, choose the shortest way to cross the road. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

• At an intersection or roundabout, cross the same way a pedestrian would (from footpath to footpath). If the intersection or roundabout is very busy, you could consider taking an easier route.

• Never cross at a place where you can’t see traffic coming towards you (such as on a hill, at a bend in the road, or where parked cars block your view).

• Before you start to cross, always check that you’ll be able to get back onto the footpath on the other side without having to drive over the kerb. Distractions Cellphones, and other hand-held devices such as ipads, can be very distracting. Don’t use them unless your scooter has come to a complete stop. Parking

• Before you get off your scooter, take your hand off the power control and remove the key. Don’t forget to take the key with you!

• Make sure you park your scooter in a place where it is out of the way of other people. 10 | NZ Transport Agency Ready to ride Keeping safe on your mobility scooter Using the road safely The law says you must ride your scooter on the footpath whenever possible. If there’s no footpath, and you have to use the road, here are some guidelines to help keep you safe.

• Always travel on the left-hand side of the road.

• Keep as close to the edge of the road as you can.

• Obey all traffic signs and signals, and give way to pedestrians who are crossing the road.

• Look out for children – they may not have the skills to deal with traffic safely.

• Remember that your scooter is much less powerful than other vehicles on the road. It may also be harder to see.

• Look out for anything in your way, such as drains, holes in the road and parked cars.

• If you’re passing a parked car, watch out for any traffic coming up behind you. Don’t assume the driver of the parked car has seen you. They could suddenly pull out without indicating, or they could open a door when you’re passing.

• If you have indicators, use them. If not, use hand signals.

• If you need to ride on the road regularly, consider getting your scooter fitted with: › indicators › lights › a horn › reversing beepers › warning flags › rear-vision mirrors.

 

 Looking after your scooter Batteries Scooters use different kinds of batteries. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to recharge your scooter’s batteries.

If your scooter has a ‘wet-type’ battery, you’ll also need to check the battery acid levels every two weeks. Tyres You should check your tyre pressure at your local garage every three months. If your tyres are under-inflated:

• you’re more likely to get a puncture

• your scooter will use more power

• you won’t be able to travel as far on a single battery charge. Servicing your scooter Your scooter should have a general check-up every six months. Take it to a qualified service technician. Storing your scooter

• If possible, store your scooter in a garage or another secure place.

• If you’re not going to use your scooter for more than a month, make sure the battery is fully charged.

• If you’re going away, arrange for someone to recharge the batteries every two weeks