Nationals senator wants to slow down mobility scooters
HOW do you slow down an Australian senior?
Really it seems like a rhetorical question with little answer! But all jokes aside, Nationals senator John Williams has found a way: limit the speed of mobility scooters.
Senator Williams wants his party to back a proposal to prevent mobility scooters from travelling no faster than six kilometres per hour.
The senator has been investigating mobility scooters ever since his wife underwent hip surgery after being injured in a collision last year.
"[She] took literally one step out of the office and the gopher hit her," Senator Williams told ABC radio.
"What if she had landed on her head? I could be preparing for a funeral."
Senator Williams said he didn't want to ban the scooter but believed its top speed could pose a threat to public safety.
However, disability advocates have slammed the move.
"What we need to see is more respect for all users of the pavement, including those who use scooters, to maintain independence of mobility," Disability Discrimination Commissioner Alastair McEwin told the ABC.
But Senator Williams believes some mobility scooter drivers are putting other people's lives at risk.
Mobility scooter drivers are expected stay under 10kph but the senator insists some motor along at 35kph.
The senator also pointed to the UK, where speed limits are in place, as finding the right balance between freedom of mobility and careless driving.