Motorised Scooters for Independent Mobility ? Issues of Equipment Design, Driving the Machine, and the Road Environment: A Challenge for the Safety of Impaired Users and the Community.
Motorised scooters were originally designed to improve mobility, particularly for people who could no longer walk long distances in the outdoors.
An overview of the development of the motorised scooter illustrates its changing role and purpose in a society demanding more mobility and accessibility. Design features and the controls are caught between a wheelchair, a bike and a car - moving into the world of vehicles and a traffic environment which is not always conducive to safe travel.
While a percentage of users become competent operators of the motorised scooter, for some, challenges continue to exist which potentially impact upon pedestrian and road safety and the safety of the users themselves.
Issues for discussion include:
? Design of motorised scooters and the operation of controls and accessories;
? Practical implications of design on manoeuvrability and accessibility;
? Position of the motorised scooter in the pedestrian and traffic community;
? Human factors demanded in the safe operation of the scooter;
? Learning to operate a scooter ? a complex practical and problem solving affair, with particular reference to the challenges presented to scooter users who may be cognitively &/or visually impaired.