Scooter Indy 500 (feet) teaches valuable skills

Michael Foley takes a spin around the obstacle course during the Indy 500 in Qualicum Beach. - Neil Horner photo
Michael Foley takes a spin around the obstacle course during the Indy 500 in Qualicum Beach.
— image credit: Neil Horner photo

When the Indy 500 came to Qualicum Beach on Thursday, there wasn’t a winner and there was nobody travelling at 300 kilometres per hour — or even close to it.

In fact, it wasn’t race cars, but rather scooters, the top speed reached was barely above that of a brisk walk, the course was not 500 miles, but rather, 500 feet and the overall goal wasn’t glory, but public safety. The event, once known as the Scooter Rodeo, was held at The Gardens in Qualicum Beach, took a Nascar theme this time around, said organizer Surjit Jhaj.

“We want to raise awareness of safe driving around the community and to learn the skills of driving safely around the streets.”

RCMP Constable Pam Bolton stressed the need for scooter users to remember that when they’re on their scooters they need to think  and act like a pedestrian, which is what they are considered under the law. As well, she noted the need for riders to ensure they are highly visible, citing the flags commonly used on scooters as a good idea.

“Truck drivers are much higher than you, so you need to make yourself seen,” Bolton said.

The 18 participants then took their turns navigating an obstacle course, which included stops, starts and sharp curves. The event was sponsored by Vancouver Island Insurance Centres, Pharmasave, The Gardens in Qualicum Beach, the RCMP and Quality Foods.


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