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Concerns about mobility scooters

Abbotsford Police say the use of mobility scooters in the city has become an increasing concern, but they are awaiting a resolution from B.C. police chiefs before taking any action.

In a report at a recent police board meeting, Deputy Chief Rick Lucy said there have been 14 reported crashes involving mobility scooters in the last three years in Abbotsford.

Two of those resulted in fatalities.

Lucy said the majority of the crashes occurred when a vehicle was making a turn or was backing up out of a parking spot or driveway.

He said it is difficult to gauge exactly how many scooters are present in the community, but 156 were sold in Abbotsford alone in the last two years.

The concern is that mobility scooters are not regulated under the Motor Vehicle Act and therefore do not have to follow the rules of the road, Lucy said.

Rather, the riders are considered “pedestrians” and are free to travel on sidewalks and use crosswalks in the same manner as someone on foot.

Lucy said the use of mobility scooters brings increased safety concerns, particularly as manufacturers make faster and more powerful versions.

“That’s presenting an issue for those who are looking to regulate (scooter use),” he said.

The B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police is developing a resolution on the issue that will most likely be presented as a provincial recommendation.

The police board has decided to await that resolution, and members will then decide whether to endorse it.

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