Above: Seniors attending the scooter and pedestrian safety workshop (l-r) Gail Alchin, Betty Elsley (standing) , Marie Wilson, Jenene Pout, Polly Charnock, Ainsley Bruem (Roads and Maritime Services facilitator), Dick Richardson and Warren Flint.
COWRA seniors have rolled up to a free workshop on motorised wheelchair and pedestrian safety.
Users of motorised wheelchairs, known as mobility scooters, were reminded that they are deemed to be pedestrians under the New South Wales road rules, meaning they must not be capable of travelling faster than 10km/h on level ground.
Seniors’ pedestrian safety topics included diminished vision, hearing, slower walking speeds and slower reaction times, all factors which affect their ability to cross roads safely.
Also discussed were the many intersections along Kendal St and factors affecting peoples’ confidence in crossing safely, including use of the pedestrian safety facilities in place.
The workshop heard that people aged 70 years and older represent around 14 per cent of residents in Cowra, according to 2009 data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
With people in that age-group representing around 10 per cent of residents in NSW, yet accounting for 33 per cent of pedestrian fatalities, it was a timely reminder about the use of mobility scooters and pedestrian safety.
The relative frailty of many older people means that if they are hit by a vehicle the outcome is likely to be more severe, resulting in a fatality rather than an injury, the workshop was told.
Hit by a vehicle at 50km/h, 55 per cent of pedestrians will die.
A highlight for those currently using or considering the use of a mobility scooter was the live demonstration and practical session held at the end of the workshop.
The seniors also spoke one-on-one with Jason McFadden, from Wisking Healthcare Australia, about their individuals needs.
Twenty people attended the workshop and morning tea held by State Roads and Maritime Services at Cowra Bowling Club last Thursday.