Scooter regulation plan runs out of juice

A bid by the town of Sidney to regulate the use of mobility scooters on sidewalks has been rejected by UBCM delegates

A mobility scooter user prepares to cross the street in White Rock. The vehicles are legal for sidewalks

VANCOUVER – A bid by the town of Sidney to regulate the use of mobility scooters on sidewalks was rejected in a split vote by local politicians Wednesday.

On the advice of the executive, delegates to the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention voted to drop a request for provincial licensing of sidewalk scooters, and to exclude motorized wheelchairs from any restrictions. But a majority of delegates voted against any kind of regulation.

Sidney Mayor Larry Cross urged support, telling delegates there has been one fatality in his community, and two “serious rollovers” this past summer as scooters shared sidewalks with pedestrians.

“We’re kind of the canary in the mine in terms of the aging population, and the incidents and conflicts can only grow over time,” Cross said.

Other council members were unimpressed.

“If you have a problem with your sidewalks and people are rolling over, maybe you need to fix the sidewalks,” said Langley Township councillor Bob Long. “There are motorized bicycles, so is that the next thing, we’re going to license bicycles?”

Sidney councillor Melissa Hailey said the community has “wonderful sidewalks,” but education and some regulation is needed.

“There is no real legislation or any ability to deal with unsafe scootering on our sidewalks,” Hailey said. “Drinking and scootering is very hard to enforce.”

Nelson councillor Robin Cherbo said some solution is needed. His community has narrow sidewalks and some scooter users take to the roadway, without flags or lights.

Cranbrook Mayor Wayne Stetski was opposed, after talking with scooter and wheelchair users in his community.

Saanich councillor Vic Derman agreed that scooter users and pedestrians need education, but communities should focus on local improvements to give scooter users more safe routes.

 

Just Posted

Tsunami warning prompts evacuations in Port Alberni

Alaska earthquake prompted warning for coastal BC

UPDATE: Tsunami warning cancelled for coastal British Columbia

Warning issued following 7.9 earthquake off Kodiak, AK

COUNCIL WATCH: Here are some of the stories we’ll be following

Traffic counts, a Nuisance Property Working Group and more at Alberni council meeting

Stakeholders tackle poverty in Port Alberni

Residents invited to share ideas for solution at Tuesday (Jan. 23) meeting

Break and enters on the rise in Port Alberni

Thieves targeting garages, sheds and storage trailers

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

‘The tsunami alarm failed my household’: North Coast residents concerned over sirens, alerts

People living in northern communities share how they learned about Tuesday’s tsunami warning

Snowboarder dies at Vancouver Island ski resort

Death at Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Man faces 48 charges in string of random Toronto shootings

The string of unprovoked shootings began Jan.9, say police

‘Shape of Water’ producer, Christopher Plummer among Canadian Oscar nominees

Guillermo del Toro film about merman romance earns 13 nominations

Canada, TPP agrees to revised deal without the United States

Canada and the remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have agreed to a revised trade agreement

Tsunami warnings 101: Canada

Here are some things to know about tsunami alerts in Canada and how they work

Rogers Media cuts ties with Vice Canada

Rogers Media and Vice Canada are ending their three-year-old partnership, pulling Viceland TV channel off the air

Most Read