Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Driving us mad (Part 1)

Hold up.

There is an unusual story headlining the Shields Gazette this evening, all about a huge traffic jam on the A19 approach road to the Tyne Tunnel. The hold up was caused by an old gentleman on a motorised 8 mph scooter! The Gazette are anxious to find out who he is.

As you will see from the picture in the Gazette, this man was foolishly riding his scooter in the outside lane of a 70 mph dual carriageway with wreckless abandon. His actions put himself and other road users in extreme danger, heaven knows how he was lucky enough to get so far without having a nasty collision!

Readers in other parts will recognise that there is an abundance of these electric motorised scooter/shopping trollies around these days, our town centres and shopping malls are full of them. Unfortunately the owners of them (well at least a sizeable minority) are quite thoughtless and wreckless and care little about the safety of pedestrians. I have lost count of the number of times I have needed to quickly avoid one of these machines. I have had my ankles and shins bruised on a number of times, especially inside supermarkets.

Of course they are quite easy to access and buy, and there is nothing at all to prevent the immediate use of an electric scooter on the pavements or roads. Perhaps it is time to consider some regulation, at the very least the users ought to pass a simple and standardised proficiency test that will enable them to appreciate the risks to themselves and others.

I can understand the need for improved mobility amongst the elderly and the disabled, but the massive and rapid growth in the use of these machines leads me to question whether some people are actually reducing their motive capacity, as massive muscle groups become totally underused and wasted by the immediate convenience of an electric scooter!


Shields Gazette

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