Motorized Scooter Legality - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Motorized Scooter Legality

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There's a new trend roaming around on city streets and it's causing concern among drivers.  Mobility scooters have started popping up more. But, are they legal? News Channel Six's Dee Griffin is here with more on the scooters and their rights on the road.

Benjamin Roark has been on the roll in his mobility scooter for about three years. "I used to walk to town twice a day. Then, once a day. Then my hips gave out. I've got metal rods from here down to my shoulder blades and I've got a plate in my hip," Roark explains.

His mobility scooter has kept him in motion but some drivers have stopped him in his tracks. Roark says, "I had a guy last week, I was on my way to the courthouse, I'm almost across the street he pulled up in a station wagon and stopped right in front of me. On Greene Street. I went around in front of his car. I said, "where did you get your driver's license? The cracker jacks box?" He used that "F" word."

As the city's population ages, the use of mobility scooters is becoming more popular. While sales grow, so do safety risks. We captured this video of a man riding along a busy street in the roadway facing oncoming traffic.

The scooters are legal for outside use, but, they are relegated to sidewalks not on streets like in this video. Darryl Zerbel of Adaptive Driving Solutions advises, "First of all, don't do that."

He says the company has seen a growth in sales and rentals over recent years. But, with the rise in sales comes an increase in safety precautions. "I suggest going around your neighborhood is a great thing to still stay active. But, as far as going on the road the scooter is not a street legal vehicle," Zerbel says.

Scooter riders like Benjamin Roark, urge drivers to beware of their existence because his wheels provide more than a ride.. They keep his life moving forward. "If I didn't have this chair, what would I do?" Roark says.

Darryl Zerbel says anyone purchasing a mobility scooter should invest in a four wheel ride. It's more stable.

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