Nova Scotia 's mobility scooter users urged to exercise road safety

Published on August 25, 2017

Police investigate a crash in which a woman on a mobility scooter was struck by a midsize SUV near Middleton August 17 at noon. The 47-year-old woman was airlifted to Halifax with critical injuries.

©Lawrence Powell

MIDDLETON, N.S. - A recent crash in Middleton between an electric scooter and a SUV, which sent a 47-year-old woman to hospital with injuries considered critical, has sparked concern among police.

It was at least the third collision recorded in Nova Scotia this year involving a wheelchair or mobility scooter. 

“I found one occurrence in 2014 and one in 2015 where collisions occurred with individuals on mobility scooters,” said RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jennifer Clarke. “Neither was fatal.”

When it comes to the rules of the road, mobility scooter and wheelchair users are considered pedestrians under the Motor Vehicle Act, says Brian Taylor, media relations advisor for the department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

“In the legislation, the definition of pedestrian includes a person in a wheelchair. It does not specify if the wheelchair is manually operated or motorized. Therefore, electric wheelchairs and rascal-style scooters for those mobility issues would be considered pedestrians and must follow the rules of the road applicable to a pedestrian,” explained Taylor in an email.

Clarke said the RCMP encourages those who use mobility scooters “to consider their safety when operating their devices, and take precautions such as the use of a high visibility flag and/or safety vest. In locations where there is no sidewalk, we again ask users of mobility scooters to consider the safest route to get to their destination.
"Drivers, as well, should always be on the lookout for pedestrians, cyclists, and other types of assistance devices such as these.”