It is estimated that more than 300,000 people in the UK use mobility scooters but there is growing concern about the safety of mobility scooter riders, pedestrians and other road users.
As it stands mobility scooters and buggies are not covered by the Road Traffic Act and you don’t require a licence to ride one. However a number of agencies, charities and not for profit groups have set up training courses to promote safety and reduce the number of accidents.
The skills needed to drive a mobility scooter are more complex than you may initially imagine. As well as having to contend with other motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and street furniture, the scooterists also have to be adaptable enough to negotiate busy supermarket shopping aisles.
Some of the safety courses available
Adrian Flux, one of the country’s largest independent insurance intermediaries which offers specialist policies for mobility scooters, has looked into some of the courses and assessments available.
- Mobility scooter and powered wheelchair drivers in West Sussex can benefit from a free 90-minute skills and safety session run by Horsham Scooter Safety. The course is suitable for those who are new to a mobility scooter and are lacking confidence and experienced riders who would benefit by being reminded about the safety aspects and the responsibilities. Register your interest by calling 01403 269 384 or email: [email protected].
- Parkgate Mobility is working in partnership with the police and South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership to produce a road safety awareness course for mobility users in the region. If you or a family member don’t feel confident or safe on their mobility scooter, then this cost-free scooter safety course may be the answer.
- Access at Last set up by Norfolk Police aims to improve the driving skills of mobility scooter users. The course was set up in response to the number of accidents involving mobility vehicles. Mannequin dolls, simulating pedestrians, are among the obstacles drivers have to negotiate.
- Warrington Disability Partnership has set up the Scoota Safe campaign which includes scooter driving training. The course includes driving time on a mobility training track, experience on different surfaces, manoeuvring in tight spaces, reversing and general maintenance.
- Ableworld meanwhile had produced a Highway Code for mobility scooter riders. The code has been written by mobility scooter users for users, so they can be as safe as possible, whether they ride a foldable scooter that they keep in their boot or a heavy duty road going machine. The code is a downloadable pdf.
- You can also get further information from the Highway Code’s Guide: Rules for users of powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
Tells us about other mobility scooter driving courses
The above are the courses we have come across here at Adrian Flux but if you are aware of other courses, please let us know. Leave a message or email [email protected].