Topics:  ballina, motorised scooters, staysafe

Scooter inquiry gets under way

INQUIRY WELCOMED: Lesley and Charles Nicholson, of West Ballina, have welcomed a NSW Staysafe road safety committee inquiry into motorised scooters. Lesley suffered multiple injuries after being hit by a scooter in 2012.
INQUIRY WELCOMED: Lesley and Charles Nicholson, of West Ballina, have welcomed a NSW Staysafe road safety committee inquiry into motorised scooters. Lesley suffered multiple injuries after being hit by a scooter in 2012. Graham Broadhead

AN INQUIRY into the use of motorised scooters will start this month and Charles and Lesley Nicholson say it's about time.

Mrs Nicholson and her friend, Jess Mote, were mowed down by a scooter while walking along a footpath in Cherry St, Ballina, lastOctober.

Both women suffered serious injuries - Mrs Nicholson broke her left leg, both ankles and several smaller bones in her feet, while Mrs Mote's collarbone was fractured after the 100kg scooter landed on top of her.

Mrs Nicholson was in hospital for three-and-a-half months. She returned home only three weeks ago, but is still in a lot of pain.

"It's been really hard for me, and for Charles as well," she said. "This accident has changed our lives. I struggle even to stand up."

The couple has welcomed the announcement that a parliamentary inquiry, conducted by the Staysafe (Road Safety) Committee, will start this month.

It will review and report on the increasing use of non-registered motorised vehicles, such as mobility scooters, segways and electric bicycles, on public roads and footpaths and their impact on road safety.

Some of the matters the committee will look at include in- surance issues, vehicle design, engine capacity, mass and speed controls, and education and the necessity for skills and competency training for users.

Mr Nicholson said he would be making a submission to the inquiry, calling for insurance and provisional registration for scooter users.

"Currently, none of the rules can be enforced," Mr Nicholson said. "There are scooters in Ballina that can go up to 30km/h and weigh 150kg.

"Lesley was in hospital for more than three months because of her accident, and all because she went to breakfast with a friend."



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