Scooter Riders Call for Greater Recognition

My Drive – Scooter owners in Victoria are calling for motorists and other road users to be more aware of scooters. Scooter riding is increasing, particularly among commuters as they find alternative modes of personal transport to combat higher petrol and parking prices and increased congestion. Scooters provide a viable alternative because they are cheap to run, easy to park and environmentally friendly. However, many riders do not feel they receive due consideration from other road users, governments and infrastructure planners. According to recent VFACTs figures, released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, during 2011, scooter sales in Australia increased by 8.9 per cent. 929 additional scooters were sold last year, compared to the previous twelve months, taking the total number of scooters sold in Australia in 2011 to 11,374.

“Scooter riders are fully paid up members of Victoria’s roads. They, like other road users, pay an annual vehicle registration plus an additional payment to the controversial Motorcycle Safety Levy. And yet, some people think scooters are not as important, or worthy, as cars, trucks, motorcycles or bicycles. Scooters have as many rights to be on our roads as anyone else,” VACC Executive Director, David Purchase, said.

“During the Victorian Government’s recent Road Safety Inquiry Committee hearing, VACC presented a case, on behalf of motorcycle and scooter riders, for the Levy to be scrapped, or, at the very least, channeled into specific initiatives for powered two wheelers. Such initiatives include the establishment of a motorcycle and scooter Centre of Excellence, competency based training covering all categories of motorcycles, scooters and all-terrain-vehicles and mandatory annual Five Point Safety Checks for all powered two wheeled vehicles,” Mr Purchase said.

In November 2011, scooter owners assisted the Victorian Government’s launch of the Hoddle Street bus lane sharing trial which enables riders of motorcycles and scooters to share the southbound bus lane during peak morning traffic. “Scooter owners are considerate members of the community and responsible riders. Motorists should love them because if every scooter was a car, how congested would our roads be? On Sunday 19 February, Victoria’s scooter owners will ride in the 2012 Scooter Awareness Rally. Vespas, Lambrettas and Piaggios will be among those riding from Luna Park, St Kilda, through the City and into Argyle Square in Lygon Street, Carlton. It is a social event and also an important opportunity for scooter owners to remind drivers and governments that they are equal road users,” Mr Purchase said.

For more details, visit vacc.com.au or follow Scooter Rally on FaceBook.

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