The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will hold a national meeting next month, looking at ways to reduce the number of deaths and injuries involving motorised mobility scooters.
Earlier this month Consumers Affairs Minister, Dr Craig Emerson issued a warning to scooter users after receiving advice from the ACCC.
A ccording to the National Coroners’ Information System, mobility scooters have been associated with over 70 fatal accidents throughout Australia since July 2000.
Next month’s summit will delve into the causes of these accidents and hundreds of other non-fatal incidents which led to serious injuries.
“The ACCC has taken a lead role because this is a national issue that cuts across a number of areas of government,” said the ACCC’s Deputy Chair, Peter Kell.
A wide range of stakeholders will be involved in the meeting, including injury research organisations, consumer groups for older people and government representatives.
They will hear presentations on safety concerns and discuss potential solutions.
“We are establishing a reference group to act on the solutions and develop a joint national approach,” said Mr Kell.
“The group may also consider the need for driver training, medical check-ups, wider use of helmets and an Australian Standard to provide design and testing requirements for
motorised mobility scooters.”
“We will develop a national consumer education strategy for users of these scooters.”
Preliminary research suggests that many of the deaths were caused by head injuries and Dr Emerson is urging all scooter users to wear a bicycle helmet.
The scooter safety meeting will be held in Canberra on Thursday, 17 September.