In the last 7 days there have been at least two reports of motorists expressing concern over the use of mobility scooters on our roads. The first i spotted was the below report in Derby on the 2nd March, and then a more recent report in Dorset on the 5th March.
Mobility Scooters can help maintain independence and quality of life for people who find it difficult to walk a distance. Many people who are semi-mobile may be perfectly able to walk short distances inside shops, but not be able to get there in the first place. Mobility scooters mean that they can actually be much more active in some ways, and do more for themselves than they would be able to without one.
However, both the mobility scooter user and the other road users must be aware of each other. A mobility scooter user is a vulnerable road user.
Section 36 to 46 of the Highway Code sets out the rules for users of powered wheelchairs and powered mobility scooters.
Rule 36 confirms that the class 3 powered wheelchair are those with an upper speed limit of 8 mph and are equipped to be used on the road as well as the pavement.
Rule 37 critically states that when the powered wheelchair is on the road the user should obey the guidance and rules for other vehicles.
Rule 46 clearly states that these vehicles MUST NOT be used on the motorways. They should not be used on unrestricted dual carriageways where the speed limit exceeds 50 mph but if they are used on these dual carriageways they MUST have a flashing amber beacon. A flashing amber beacon should be used on all other dual carriageways.
As a solicitor instructed by those who have either suffered serious injury or bereavement due to road crash i have previously acted for powered mobility scooter users, two of which had sadly died in a road crash. In those cases it became clear that the "third party" motorist had not appreciated that the mobility scooter user was entitled to use the road and some awareness perhaps needs to be raised.
A motorist has complained to police after she filmed a mobility scooter driving along a busy city ring road. Linda Miller of Littleover in Derby recorded dashcam footage of the incident on the A601 and sent it to Derbyshire Police. While some motorised scooters can legally be driven on roads, a Derbyshire Police spokesman said it was "not really appropriate" for the vehicle to be on the ring road.