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

B.C.’s north heats up to record highs

Bella Bella, Masset, Prince Rupert and the Cassiar Area all broke records

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Canucks find scoring touch in 5-2 win over Blackhawks

Four Vancouver skaters have two points apiece in victory over Chicago

‘Not well thought out:’ Arizona family slams B.C. speculation tax

American family spends half the year in vacation home on Vancouver Island

Family of B.C. wildfire victim wants better emergency preparedness for vulnerable people

Williams Lake’s David Jeff “fell through the cracks”

Senate backs bill to legalize recreational marijuana

Justin Trudeau reminded senators that his government was elected on a promise to legalize pot

Where Canadians buy real estate abroad: report

Hot Spots: Top 30 home-buying destinations for Canadians in the Americas

Ban on grizzly bear hunt, new rules take effect April 1

Taxidermists, tanners will have to report on any grizzly bears or parts brought to them

Ontario father grief stricken over murder of ex-wife and children

‘No words to explain,’ grieving father of slain teens says in statement

Most Read