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29 June 2018 – The ever increasing number of mobility scooters and power chairs now on footpaths do provide independence for the users but Waikato charitable trust Life Unlimited is concerned some people using them are doing so unsafely.
General manager William Hughes says training workshops Life Unlimited runs in Waikato and the Bay of Plenty at retirement villages and community events provide an ideal opportunity for people who have bought or contemplating buying a mobility scooter, the opportunity to learn how to drive them safely.
“We see the positive change in so many people’s lives through the increased independence that a mobility scooter can provide and feel it is very important to give people a chance to see how easy they are to operate and how safe they can be,” says Hughes.
Life Unlimited is a charitable trust offering health and disability services, advice and equipment.
As part of a month-long promotion in July, Life Unlimited is offering $340 worth of free accessories with every Neo scooter sold at one of its four stores in Hamilton, Tauranga, Gisborne and Rotorua.
Any sale also includes free lessons on using the mobility scooter.
“You don’t need a driver’s licence to operate a mobility scooter and they’re not required to have a warrant of fitness or registration, but there are rules around their use,” says Hughes.
For example, a mobility scooter should not be on the road if a footpath is available.
“People on mobility scooters can be quite vulnerable and that’s why we recommend accessories like flags and high-vis clothing.
“We also like to provide guidance to our customers around the type of mobility scooter they should buy. For example, does it have enough power to get up hills around your neighbourhood, what size is best for your weight and can you get it serviced?
“Neo mobility scooters have been on the New Zealand market for 20 years but we now import them directly and are the exclusive New Zealand retailer.
“We did a lot of research and we believe the model offers the best value for money, reliability and safety for the New Zealand environment,” says Hughes.
Life Unlimited will celebrate its 40th anniversary next year as a charitable trust which provides health and disability information, advice and equipment to enable people to live the life they choose.
Other services offered by Life Unlimited include:
- Hearing therapy
- Autism information, advice and professional training
- Needs Assessment Service Coordination
- Equipment and assistive technology to support independent living
- Community programmes to foster participation and inclusion.