Mobility Scooters for an Ageing Society

Report
Mobility Scooters for an Ageing
Society
Presented by Ling Suen, ICSA Inc. Canada
Authors: Daniel Blais, Transport Canada
Uwe Rutenberg, Rutenberg Design Inc.
Ling Suen, ICSA Inc.
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Two studies carried out in Canada
• Province of Quebec Study
• Focused on infrastructure and rights of way
• Considered ‘social mobility’ (mobility aids) vs. ‘civil
mobility’ (personal transportation)
• Government of Canada (Transport Canada) Study
• Investigated transportability of scooters on other modes
of transportation
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Purpose
• In Canada the population is ageing
• Independent mobility important to seniors’ well
being
• Mobility scooters preferred by seniors for
‘automobility’
• Study to provide guidance on regulations and/or
frameworks for safe operation of mobility aids
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Global Changing Demographics
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Scope of the Study
• Analyze and assess the environment (physical and
regulatory) for three- and four-wheel mobility
scooters, and to identify future needs for safe
operation
• Four parameters were examined:
• The scooter
• The user
• The environment
• The key stakeholders
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Parameter 1: The Scooter
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Parameter 2: The User
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Parameter 3: The Environment
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Parameter 4: The Key Stakeholders
• Agencies responsible for regulations
• Transportation operators
• Manufacturers and suppliers
• Users
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Methodology
• National and International Literature Review
• Consultations with public and private
stakeholders
• Expert forum in Qualicum Beach, British
Columbia
• Analysis of results of literature review and
consultations
• Formulation of recommendations and
conclusions
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Results of Literature Review
• International review (Canada, USA, Europe, Asia, Australia and New
Zealand).
• No regulations in most countries, scooters considered pedestrians
by default (except Hong Kong),
• Lack of consistent or systematic recording of incidents (except for
Australia)
• Some technological developments to increase manoeuvrability and
stability
• Predominantly rear-facing securement (no tie-downs) systems in
Canada, Europe, Australia and Asia. Forward facing securement
(with tie-downs) in the US.
• Study being conducted in QC in 2011 to distinguish between
motorized mobility aids and motorized personal transportation
devices
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Results of Consultations
• Questionnaire
– 14 questionnaires were completed: 2 by federal
govt depts, 5 by transportation providers, 1
CCMTA, 1 by FCM, 1 by manufacturer, 1 by CSA
and 3 by users
• Qualicum Beach Forum
– Expert forum including participants from the town
of Qualicum Beach, users, BC DOT, transportation
providers, local law enforcement and dealers
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Results of Consultations
• Use on sidewalks and roads should be allowed
• Use on highways should not be allowed
• Vehicle plating/registration should not be
required
• Driver licensing should not be required
• Speed should be limited to between 8 and 15
km/h
• Maximum length should not exceed 1300 mm
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Results of Consultations (cont’d)
• Maximum length should not exceed 1300 mm
• Maximum turning radius should not exceed 1500
mm
• Maximum weight should not exceed 140 kg
• Training by dealer is strongly recommended but
not required
• Safety features (e.g. a horn, signals,
lights/reflectors) should be required
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Results of Qualicum Beach Forum
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Results of Qualicum Beach Forum
• Scooters used on daily basis mostly during the
day for shopping, recreation and medical trips
• Operate on sidewalks, bicycle paths and
laneways (can result in land-use/ROW
conflicts)
• Speed should be defining criteria for ROW
access
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Results of Qualicum Beach Forum
• Support standardization and safety features
• Dealers strive to provide training and advice
• Further assessment required by regulatory
agencies
• Law enforcement treats scooters as
pedestrians
• Law enforcement assigns priority on user
awareness of rules over training, safety
features and size/speed of scooters
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Results of Qualicum Beach Forum
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Analysis and Conclusion
Factors considered :
– Laws on passenger and vehicle safety,
– Jurisdictional (provincial vs. municipal)
responsibilities over vehicle use, highways, roads
and pedestrian facilities
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Conclusions
• Definition of mobility scooter needed
• User training required for safe operation
• Users need to receive up-to-date travel
information
• Standards required to improve safety of users,
pedestrians and carrier staff
• Data on sales not easily available, particularly
for second hand sales
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Recommendations
Proposed draft definition
“A mobility scooter is a powered device intended to
facilitate the transport, in a seated posture, of
ambulatory, semi-ambulatory or persons with
disabilities. A mobility scooter is equipped with a seat
with arm rests, a means to maneuver safely on various
surfaces, and appropriate safety features. A mobility
scooter has a maximum speed of 10 km/hr and is
designed with dimensions and securement anchorage
that facilitate travel in public transportation modes.
The first generation of scooters typically has 3 or 4
wheels and is steered by a tiller/handlebar.”
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Recommendations
• Hold a national stakeholder forum to validate
definition and chart next steps
• Design universal battery connectors
• Update standards
• Mandate safety features
• Specify realistic payload requirements
• Develop signage
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Final Thoughts
• Definition should be flexible enough to adapt
to new technology
• Stakeholder involvement in setting standards
is key
• Both transportation providers and users share
responsibility for ensuring safe PMD
transportability
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Thank you!!
To reach us:
Ling Suen: [email protected]
Daniel Blais: [email protected]
Uwe Rutenberg: [email protected]
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