We are dying, and apparently it’s our own damn fault.
As pointed to by Deborah in the latest Otterday thread, scooter users in Australia are dying.
We are dying because footpaths obstructed by cars and tree prunings and rubbish force us onto the road. We are dying because there are no footpaths. We are dying because motor vehicle drivers mow us down as we cross.
How did the government respond?
Are they going to suggest and implement educational programmes and legal crackdowns on footpath obstruction? Are they going to construct accessible pathways for people with disabilities to use? Are they going to educate drivers on the need to not kill other people who may use or cross roads from time to time?
No. They’re going to tell us it’s our own damn fault. They’re going to tell us we’re dying because we’re unwell, or medicated, or drunk. They’re going to tell us to wear fucking helmets as we go about our everyday lives at four to seven kilometres an hour (most scooters don’t go 10 km/h), just in case we’re mown down by a truck which was just minding its own business before the pesky crip got in the way.
Mobility scooter drivers have been warned to be extremely careful when using their vehicles, with the consumer watchdog alarmed at 71 scooter-related deaths in the past nine years.
Consumer Affairs Minister Craig Emerson has taken the step of issuing an official warning about the scooters, with concerns their increasing popularity is putting vulnerable lives at risk. [...]
“Obviously some of the people who use them aren’t the fittest people on Earth, that’s the whole reason for their existence,” he said. “I don’t want to see anything severe happen in this space, but I do think we have an obligation to warn people of the dangers of using these scooters, particularly at dusk when they’re not so easily seen.” [...]
The warning notice has a number of recommendations for scooter drivers, including ensuring the scooter is highly visible, avoiding very steep hills, taking footpaths or quiet roads when possible and wearing a helmet.
Mr Emerson says it is also very important for people to be aware of any effects that medication may have on their driving ability and to avoid drinking too much alcohol before driving.