Opinion

OUR VIEW: Scooting the issue

Pedestrians and scooter operators both must take responsibility for how they interact on the streets of Sidney.

It’s no secret there are a lot of people who use scooters within the community. Rules governing licencing and education were part of a Town of Sidney recommendation to the Union of B.C. Municipalities not that long ago. While that was ultimately rejected by a majority of other member municipalities, the message remains important.

Scooter owners generally stay off of the roads and stick to the sidewalks. That’s where, obviously, a majority of pedestrians are as well. At some point, one is going to run across the other — and let’s hope that’s only in a figurative sense.

It’s everyone’s responsibility to be aware of their surroundings — a fact more important these days with our addiction to hand-held electronic devices. Most drivers of scooters probably aren’t making phone calls or texting their friends while they drive, but it does take some skill and the ability to look ahead and anticipate people around them.

Sort of like all those years behind the wheel of a car.

A simple, friendly honk of the horn from a scooter driver would be enough to let people know where they are and that they are coming up behind them. It’s good to note that in some places around the world, a honk is meant as a greeting and acknowledgement that two objects are close to each other. Generally, a horn sounding in North America is one of anger or frustration.

At the sidewalk level, this interaction has no reason not to be pleasant — it is, after all, two folks sharing a public space. A little courtesy can go a long way to avoiding serious conflict and a collision.

Based on that, there’s no reason why pedestrians and scooter operators should be in any conflict on the sidewalks on the Saanich Peninsula.

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