Youngsters scoot around the city
POLICE are preparing for a spike in young scooter riders around the Rose City these Easter school holidays and are urging youth to be mindful of their riding habits on footpaths.
Neighbourhood watch area co-ordinator Jan Walker often observes the power struggle between scooters and pedestrians when selling raffle tickets on the street.
Mrs Walker says more needs to be done to force the scooter riders to slow down.
“They’re going too fast to be mindful of older people that are mobility impaired and already tottery on their feet,” she said.
“If one so much as slides past them, they can fall down and I’ve seen that happen.”
Mrs Walker said too many kids were using the footpaths “as playgrounds” and needed to be taught road and footpath etiquette in order to solve the problem.
However, she conceded it was not all scooter riders who were creating a bad name for footpath users.
“The few abusing the privilege of riding on the footpath are making it very difficult for the responsible riders who are using it with respect,” she said.
“We’re bike riders too and we ride on the footpath because it’s much safer.”
Mrs Walker said she believed council hadn’t banned riding on footpaths for fear of litigation.
“If a rider were to be hit by a car on the road they might sue council for not being able to ride on the footpath,” she said.
“They shouldn’t be allowed to ride more than eight kmh on the footpath, which is a very fast walk.”
Warwick mother Candice Crowe has two young sons who enjoy riding their scooters on holidays and said she was glad they could use footpaths.
“As long as you teach the child not to run into everyone and to go carefully I don’t see the problem with it,” she said.
“If they had another path to use I’d have them ride there, but there isn’t. And it’s too dangerous to use the road.”
Warwick Police officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Stewart Day said police were aware of the issue and were increasing their presence in town.
He said monitoring scooter compliance was “a difficult issue” but police could penalise those who did the wrong thing.
“Scooter riders are allowed to ride on the footpath as long as they keep to the left,” he said.
“(If they’re not) we can take enforcement action via a public nuisance or traffic infringement notice and people can find themselves before the court depending on their previous history.”
Snr Sgt Day encouraged anyone who had witnessed a disturbance to contact police on 4660 4444.
“If anyone sees people behaving in a disorderly manner in relation to scooter riders, contact police and we’ll have someone attend. It’s not an inconvenience at all,” he said.