Safe scooter behaviours promoted

17:00, Jun 10 2013
Safe scooting
SAFE SCOOTING: Jetstar Captain Richard Falkner (left), Jetstar Ambassador and rugby league legend Steve Price (right) with children from Vauxhall Primary School.

Every year thousands of Kiwi kids are ending up in hospital with serious injuries from riding their scooters.

ACC claims data shows the number of scooter related injuries occurring now is more than nine times as many as in 2008.

Safekids New Zealand has attributed the increase to a rise in scooter popularity for children travelling to and from school.

In response Safekids is introducing a Safe2Skoot programme to promote helmet use and a safe scooter culture for students.

Safekids New Zealand director Ann Weaver says that while helmets are mandatory by law when cycling, scooter riders are not required to wear them.

Scooter injuries are similar to cycling injuries such as falls, collisions, head and facial injuries and fractures, she says.

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"The most serious cases are traumatic brain injuries that may result in years of treatment, life-long disability and even death," she says.

She says a large proportion of scooter-related injuries are caused by a "critical behavioural error" where children fail to stop or slow down before attempting to cross the road.

Drivers also have difficulty seeing children on their scooters because of their smaller stature.

The Safe2Skoot programme is being run in partnership with Jetstar thanks to a $30,000 grant through the Flying Start Programme.

Participating schools will receive an information pack to help principals implement a "no helmet no scooter" rule and to encourage safe scooter behaviours.

Email VictoriaJ@adhb.govt.nz with Safe2Skoot in the subject line, your school name, address, phone and a contact person to take part in the programme.

North Shore Times