The retirement village that Geoff Logue and his wife, Iris, call home has a clubroom that hosts an active calendar of events, and other great facilities including a pool and a bowls green. So, when the 84-year-old found walking to the clubrooms was becoming a strain, buying a motorised scooter to get there and back seemed like the perfect solution.
‘It’s certainly been very handy,’ Geoff says.
‘The wife likes to walk, she's still a pretty fit lady, so instead of me having to get the car out to go up there to go swimming and for various things, I just zoom up on my scooter. It's no problem at all.’
Finding the right scooter
Geoff purchased his first motorised scooter (also called a motorised mobility device), two years ago but bought a different one not long after due to safety concerns.
‘The trouble with the first one was it had three wheels — one at the front and two at the back, so you had to be extremely careful going up and down kerbs that you hit the kerb straight on, or you could easily tip out.’
VicRoads suggests people think about safety when considering purchasing a motorised scooter and consult an occupational therapist for advice on which model would best meet their needs.
Safety still first
Would-be purchasers should ensure the scooter meets Australian safety standards, and is suitable for the indoor and outdoor environments they plan to use it in. Geoff’s first scooter had been owned by a man who only operated it inside a nursing home, where the reduced stability provided by three wheels was less of an issue than if it was being used outdoors.
Obeying road rules is also essential. 'Motorised scooter users are considered pedestrians. Scooters should be used in a safe manner on footpaths (where they exist) rather than on roads, and users should pay attention to the same laws that apply to pedestrians'.
‘I don't go that far with it because my wife and I both still drive our small, new car which we use to zoom around Mornington to see our children. I really mainly use the scooter in the retirement village,’ Geoff says. ‘It's such a good place to live and there's so many good, like-minded people here.’
Geoff’s tip for those considering buying a second-hand scooter is to check the condition of the battery so they can judge how long the charge is likely to last.
‘And,’ he jokes, ‘If you’re getting a scooter, get a red one because they go faster.’