According to a number of leading safety charities, “reckless” mobility scooter drivers are causing more road accidents. The increase has led some observers to call for the confiscation of persistent offenders’ electric vehicles.
At present, a mobility scooter doesn’t require a driving license – just registration with the DVLA. In practise, this means that people driving them under the influence of drugs and alcohol are often free to continue using them, although they may face various penalties (such as fines). As a result, influential road safety groups are requesting that laws be clarified so that mobility scooter users can be aware of their responsibilities when on roads and pavements.
In a quote to the Telegraph Rebecca Ashton, from IAM Roadsmart, one of Britain’s leading driver awareness groups, said: “Anyone driving a mechanically-propelled vehicle must be in full control of it, they need to be fully capable of controlling the machine to avoid causing danger to themselves or other road users. Education is paramount to helping people know what they can and can’t do on their mobility scooters, and investment into helping people understand the rules would be welcomed.”
She added that each case should be looked at “on an individual basis” with a focus on education and rehabilitation rather than punishment.
A spokesperson for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents agreed, saying: “As with all forms of transport mobility scooters create some risk for both the user and for other people. The number of accidents and casualties involving mobility scooters is increasing. It would help if it was made clear that road traffic laws governing careless and dangerous driving all apply to mobility scooter users.”
If you’re looking to purchase a mobility scooter, and want to be sure that you know how to use it safely, please get in contact with Shire Mobility on 01604 580 600 (Northampton), 01869 253 976 (Bicester), or 01295 252 722 (Banbury). We have a long history of supplying our customers with high quality mobility aids and knowledge about how to use them, and we’re always happy to help.