A national meeting will seek ways of curbing the alarming number of injuries and deaths on motorised mobility scooters, Deputy Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Mr Peter Kell, said today.
He said the meeting, in Canberra on September 17, would delve into the causes of 71 deaths and hundreds of injuries that have occurred since 2000, as identified by the National Coroners' Information System.
"The ACCC has taken a lead role because this is a national issue that cuts across a number of areas of government," Mr Kell said.
The initial meeting would comprise injury research organisations, business representatives, groups representing older consumers, as well as Commonwealth, State and Territory agencies that may be able to take action to address safety concerns associated with mobility scooters.
The meeting would hear presentations on safety concerns and discuss potential solutions.
"We are establishing a reference group to act on the solutions and develop a joint national approach.
"The group may also consider the need for driver training, medical check-ups, wider use of helmets and an Australian Standard to provide design and testing requirements for motorised mobility scooters.
"We will develop a national consumer education strategy for users of these scooters," Mr Kell said.
"However, the rate of death is alarming and users may not appreciate the risks involved with the scooters.
"Preliminary information suggests there have been a lot of head injuries and I would urge all scooter drivers to wear a bicycle helmet."
On August 10, the Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs Dr Craig Emerson issued a formal danger warning about the safety of motorised mobility scooters.
Mr Brent Rebecca, Media, (02) 6243 1317 or 0408 995 408
Release # NR 209/09
Infocentre 1300 302 502