Scooter regulation request turned down at UBCM

Mayor Mitch Campsall gives scooter licensing two thumbs down

A bid by the Town of Sidney on Vancouver Island to regulate the use of mobility scooters on sidewalks was rejected in a split vote by delegates at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) convention, Sept. 26-30.

On the advice of the UBCM executive, delegates to the convention voted to drop a request for provincial licensing of sidewalk scooters, and to exclude motorized wheelchairs from any restrictions. However, a majority of delegates voted against any kind of regulation.

Sidney Mayor Larry Cross urged support, telling delegates there had been one fatality in his community, and two “serious rollovers” this past summer as scooters shared sidewalks with pedestrians.

Other local government members were unimpressed.

District of 100 Mile House Mayor Mitch Campsall was among them. In fact, he had already made his mind up about the resolution before he arrived in Vancouver for the convention.

Noting there was a group that had a concern about scooter licensing, he says local government officials have to look at the issue, but do we want to impose licensing on our seniors?

“I look at licensing as another attack on senior citizens who are having a [difficult] time right now. It’s a tough decision.

“Some of these guys and gals have been driving all of their lives and have had their licences taken away and the [scooters] are the only things they’ve got. That’s the only thing they’ve got that gets them out and keeps them active in our community.

“I have a problem with that one. I was happy it got voted down.”

With files from Tom Fletcher