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Rules for scooters discussed at Transport Council.



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17 November 2000 A179/2000

RULES FOR SCOOTERS DISCUSSED AT TRANSPORT COUNCIL

Acting Prime Minister, John Anderson, today urged parents and guardians to take the lead in encouraging young people to wear helmets when riding scooters.

He said the latest street craze for scooters by children and young adults has literally run ahead of the need for safety equipment, including helmets, with injuries to children increasing at an alarming rate.

Mr Anderson, who is Chairman of the Australian Transport Council (ATC), was speaking at a meeting of the council in Launceston.

“Scooters have become the latest addition to our love of outdoor ‘life be in it’ type activities.  But anyone using a scooter should seriously consider wearing proper protective gear such as a helmet”, he said.

The rules that apply to scooters were raised at the ATC meeting.  Mr Anderson said that at present the Australian Road Rules require those 12 years and over on scooters to wear a helmet but ride on the road which is a safety hazard with other traffic.  Children under 12 can ride on a footpath but without a helmet.

The rules were made before the current scooter craze took off, and the ATC ministers agreed that there were problems and inconsistencies in rules applying to scooters.

“Parents and guardians should be taking the lead in encouraging young people to wear helmets on scooters”, Mr Anderson said.

“The companies that market the scooters also have an important responsibility to make sure that their brochures and promotional material show children and young adults riding scooters with protective gear - not just wearing the latest clothing fashions.

“Parents should consider carefully the quality of scooters they buy and companies should not be promoting use of their product in a way that is dangerous for all scooter riders”, Mr Anderson said.

The ATC asked Western Australia to examine options for a national standard for all scooters.

Media Contact: Robyn Bain: (02) 6277 7680 / (0408) 027 839

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© Commonwealth of Australia 2000 Last updated:  Friday, 17 November 2000