Petition to keep pedestrians safe launched by national coalition

A petition to Government that would see e-scooters and other personal transport devices banned from New Zealand footpaths has been launched by a national coalition.

The coalition, which represents 14 member organisations across New Zealand, says that they have been working to support the Government as it brings in the Accessible Streets regulatory package.

“Although there are some good things in it, this package also seems to permanently allow personal transport devices such as e-scooters to be used on our footpaths.” says coalition spokesperson Dr. Chris Teo-Sherrell.

“For many people on foot (including those in pushchairs and wheelchairs), and especially for those people who have difficulty walking, hearing, seeing or mental processing, using the footpath is a necessity and their main connection to their community. If e-scooters and other personal transport devices are allowed on footpaths, these people, as well as able-bodied pedestrians, will be put at higher risk of injury and feel less safe. ”

Teo-Sherrell says that while personal transport devices have a big role to play in helping to cut transport carbon emissions, it’s common sense to understand that they need to be used in spaces that keep riders and pedestrians safe.

“We represent a large cross section of the community, from Grey Power to Alzheimers NZ and Living Streets Aotearoa. We believe that even without lived experience of disability, it is

easy to see how these devices, which can go very fast, very quietly, can make people on foot and using mobility devices wary of using footpaths.” says Dr. Teo- Sherrell.

“We’re also concerned that if these regulations are adopted, local councils may feel they no longer have to invest in making spaces safe by, for example, installing bike paths and bike lanes or lowering speed limits.”

The petition, which can be found on the parliamentary website, will be presented to Government in early December.

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Living Streets Aotearoa is the New Zealand organisation for people on foot, promoting walking-friendly communities. We are a nationwide organisation with local branches and affiliates throughout New Zealand.

We want more people walking and enjoying public spaces be they young or old, fast or slow, whether walking, sitting, commuting, shopping, between appointments, or out on the streets for exercise, for leisure or for pleasure.

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