Thursday, May 24, 2007

Personal Mobility Vehicles: A new form of Wheelchair Envy

[visual description: A picture of a PMV - personal mobility vehicle that is open. An open door on a hinge overhangs a center compartment with a single modular passenger seat. }

Wheelchair envy - it's all around us. How many times have I heard people say in line "I wish I had some place to sit down"? What about that time in McDonald's when there were no tables left and my friends had to eat standing up and kept reminding me how lucky I was that I could just use my lap as a table?

And now we have the ultimate form of envy: the new personal mobility vehicles. Take a look at these. They resemble the shape of a wheelchair. People will deny that but let's face it: you have the two big wheels on the sides, the single seat in the middle and even a reclining- tilt feature apparently. (I wonder what those two poles on the side are - for sip and puff , perhaps?)

I'm not fooled (and no other wheelchair user will be either!) by the use of colors other than the traditional black. Wheelchairs today come in any kind of color you want.

Wheelchair users have had their own personal mobility vehicles for years. Maybe we haven't called them that but we were first. And no matter what kind of design anyone comes up with, it's merely an imitation of the original wheelchair. And now we are going to have all kinds of pretenders and wanna be wheelchair users wandering around in these - things - trying to take up space on handicapped check out lines, cutting in front of us on ramps and who knows what else.

There is one thing, however, that folks who envy us our pmv's may not have thought of , but they will soon find out - sticker shock.


hotwheelz said...

As if people aren't cut off from each other enough already now we're turning them into pod people.

Karen Marie said...

Just this afternoon I was out cruising, catching up on my fresh-air-and-sunshine deficiency on Maxima, and got pulled over by a young lady (ablebodied) who wished she had a scooter, too. When I informed her how expensive or hard-to-get a scooter is, she said she knew; that she has an elderly friend who when she's not using her scooter, rents it out for $20/hour to try to recoup some of the expense [shakes head]

Ruth said...

Oh I know - the cost is really high! And I read an article about how able bodied people are renting scooters in places like casinos where they have to do a lot of walking - so we've started a trend :) Maybe they'll fix the curbcuts eh?