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Safe use of mobility scooters and electric wheelchairs

When we read this we thought it was suitable to write a quick post although it doesnt relate directly to wheelchairs it does relate to electric wheelchairs.

To many folk, the boundaries are a bit vague when it comes to what can be used on the pavements legally and safely, powerchairs, electric wheelchairs, scooters and e-bikes included.

Having watched the recent news of a cyclist becoming prosecuted for causing the death of a pedestrian it shows that its not only cars and larger vehicles that can cause lethal damage and that some of the bigger mobility vehicles including scooters and electric wheelchairs are soon to come under closer scrutiny when it comes to use on pavements.

All of these rules come under the broader heading of traffic laws and that includes electric wheelchairs and scooters. Ministers have been urged for some time to change these laws after alarming figures show an increase in the number of crashes involving mobility scooters and powerchairs.

It is being suggested that the Highway Code needs to be reviewed to include the large number of unconventional vehicles on the roads and of course pavements. It comes about following an incident in Gosport Hampshire where a child was struck by a mobility scooter and dragged along a pavement suffering cuts and bruises.

This incident is being described as hit and run although as he was walking with his family at the time i can’t see how this can be quite right as surely someone would have challenged the occupant of the scooter to resolve what had happened.

When you have any wheeled vehicle sharing space with pedestrians then it makes sense to have some rules to ensure safety for all. Some scooters and electric wheelchairs are quite substantial in weight and can travel at speeds that could potentially cause damage to people or property.

Perhaps some form of licensing is needed to regulate the use of smaller vehicles and differentiate between those that are required for genuine mobility reasons such as powerchairs and electric wheelchairs and those that are currently used out of convenience which includes some scooter users.

As our towns and cities are getting busier it would make sense to restrict the use and speed of some of the larger and heavier non-conventional vehicles, leaving users of powerchairs and electric wheelchairs with true mobility issues to go about their business in a safe and dignant manner.