Tagged with: safety wheelchairs
According to Jeanice Cardens, people who use motorized wheelchairs would stop getting hit by automobiles if they became more noticeable to drivers.
“It’s very frustrating, seeing these other people riding in the street when they are not supposed to be,” said Cardens. “These chairs are only for sidewalks and crosswalks.”
She began trying to find solutions to this problem after a man was killed on his wheelchair. “This man was crossing Hanford-Armona Road, at night, in the street, and another man driving a truck was turning right and of course didn’t see him and hit and killed him,” she said. “I just don’t understand why you would be so careless and take that risk.”
She is trying to help the wheelchair community reduce the number of accidents that occur by passing out neon orange flags that will attach to the back of a wheelchair. These flags are from the Kings County Commission on Aging where Jeanice volunteers as a health counselor for the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP).
The flags were all from an anonymous donor says Jeanice. “All anyone has to do is call me and I will take their name, number and address and then send someone to them to help attach their new flag, all for free,”. She, herself uses a flag on her wheelchair. In fact, she does not leave home without it. She has been travelling around her town of Hanford, California working hard at trying to get a law passed to make wheelchair flags mandatory.
“Right now, there are no laws requiring flags for motorized wheelchairs, and I think there should be,” Cardens said.
Currently, wheelchair operators are considered as pedestrians. After a recent news story by the Hanford Sentinel, a local paper, many wheelchair users began requesting flags from Jeanice to the point where they ran out. She is asking for donations so her organization can purchase more flags to distribute. If you would like to donate, please contact Jeanice at the King County Commission of Aging by calling (559) 583-6336.