|Fern Jentges gets around the city thanks to her motorized scooter. Authorities remind residents that the scooters are considered pedestrians and have the right of way at crosswalks.|
Fern Jentges is one of many seniors that is using the battery powered scooter or "motorized wheelchair" to get around town this summer. In Fern's case, like many of the others, the motorized scooter is their only source of mobility.
According to Nancy Bently, director of Active Reentry, "It's either they use the scooter or they wouldn't be able to get around."
Bently points out that with the increasing number of these machines on the streets the public is reminded that these are considered pedestrians and not vehicles. They follow the same rules as people riding bicycles and also face the same safety issues. Only one person is allowed on each scooter and people using this type of machine are required to have attach a red flag.
These people have the right of way at cross walks and vehicle drivers are encouraged to be observant and take extra caution and care when driving around people who are using the scooters.
Another couple safety tips important during the summer include people being extra careful when elderly people are attempting to cross the streets at the cross walks. People who need extra time walking across the streets are reminded to always push the crosswalk button, thus giving them extra time to safely cross the street. Should someone simply walk across the street, when the light changes to green, time will be much shorter, depending on the vehicles approaching in that direction. However by pushing the crosswalk button a few seconds are added to the time allowing the people to safely get across the street.
As always, during the hot periods of the summer people should be aware of their elderly neighbors and friends. It is recommended that elderly people who are living alone be checked on a couple times a day.