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HomeEducationDisability advocates seek better public education about e-scooter hazards

Disability advocates seek better public education about e-scooter hazards

Raymond Ratcliffe has faced several challenges since he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) 33 years ago.

While he expected the physical complications of MS, he didn’t anticipate how difficult it would be to move around Hobart’s sidewalks from day to day.

“It’s a challenging situation to deal with all the time,” he said.

“You have to plan every move. You have to think about everything in advance.”

In April, Raymond was driving along the route he uses most days when he came across an e-scooter parked directly across the path.

With no other option, he tried to navigate around the obstacle.

“Unfortunately I clipped the back of it. It rolled my four wheel scooter which broke my coccyx and I landed on my shoulder,” he said.

Fortunately, at that moment passing ambulances came to his rescue.

Raymond Ratcliffe broke his coccyx when his scooter tipped over while trying to navigate around an e-scooter.(ABC news: Megan Oliver)

He spent the next four weeks in hospital but still has not fully recovered from the incident.

“I’ve had problems ever since, but it gets better with corrective massage and physio,” he said.

He wants people to use common sense and courtesy when it comes to parking e-scooters.

“There’s nothing wrong with the scooters — it’s the person on them,” he said.

“Most people are pretty responsible, but you get a few that don’t do what you’d hope and it’s up to me to get around it.”

A main photo of a man looking down a bit
Vaughn Bennison says the general public doesn’t know how navigating e-scooters can lead to serious injuries.(ABC News: Luke Bowden)

Chair of Disability Voices Tasmania Vaughn Bennison said people with disabilities face a wide range of difficulties in getting around.

“People in wheelchairs may not be able to move obstacles their way like I can as a blind person,” he said.

“If there’s a trash can that I can’t get past, I can move it around, and I often do. Also things like shopping carts.

“If you have a physical disability and use a wheelchair, or a walker or something, it’s not that easy to get things out of the way.”

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