Recently I read a letter in one of the daily papers from a lady who was hit by somebody driving a mobility scooter. The lady was waiting at a zebra crossing when a person on a mobility scooter ran into her and knocked her out into the road. Fortunately there was not any traffic coming towards her as that happened but she did finish up with a broken collar bone and elbow as well as damaging her hip.
The person using the mobility scooter said that they had not seen the lady standing there, the situation from there on in gets complicated as the injured party obviously wanted compensating for her injuries and found that the mobility scooter user was not insured and so she is now proceeding with a civil case and it is most probable that it will be a successful case. If that happens the damages awarded can be quite substantial and could give terrible problems to the person using the mobility scooter in how they raise the money to pay off not only the damages but presumably the costs as well. There was a similar case recently in north Wales which eventually meant that the person on the mobility scooter lost her home to pay off the damages.
So it is sensible to think of a couple of things before purchasing a mobility scooter, the first it to ensure that either your existing household insurance will cover you on scooter in case of theft, damage or an accident. If it doesn’t then there are specialist insurance companies that will, for very little cost on a day to day basis, give you full coverage against all possible problems and will relieve you of any trauma in case of disaster. Secondly before venturing out on to the road or pavement as it must be in the case of the mobility scooters that can go up to 4 mph, make sure you get used to the controls, do it in the house in your back yard or on the drive way but make sure you know what does what so that when the unexpected happens you know exactly how to stop or how to steer to avoid disaster.
When you are out on a mobility scooter remember what ever the situation the pedestrians have right of way and just because you can probably move faster than them you cannot mow them down even if you want to! Patience is the watchword here! If you decide on one of the larger scooters that will go up to 8 mph and can be driven on the roads (except dual carriageways and motorways) you are legally required, at present, to obtain and display a DVLA road tax disc, these are free of charge but if you do not have on and are stopped by the police or are involved in any sort of accident then you could face a fine of £80.00 which for something that is free is silly really isn’t it
Finally do you think that there perhaps should be a driving test for mobility scooters? My own feeling is no but that all people using them should acquaint themselves properly before going out on there own! Be safe be sensible and have fun on your mobility scooter, freedom at last!