Road Safety News
 

Police force offers training for mobility scooter users

Thursday 19th April 2012

South Yorkshire Police will offer mobility scooter users a road safety course, having become concerned by the number of crashes involving the motorised machines (Telegraph).

The police force will offer users a free two-hour course on a life-size set of a small town in an attempt to reduce the number of collisions involving the vehicles.

During the last five years in South Yorkshire there have been 28 incidents involving mobility scooters, and in 17 cases victims have been killed or injured.

PC Mick Hedges, from South Yorkshire Police, said: “The course would allow people with mobility issues to maintain their independence and increase their confidence riding the machines in public. Owners will also be told the legal requirements for using a mobility scooter.”

Alison Seabeck, the Labour MP for Plymouth Devonport, has called for compulsory training to be given to people who use a mobility scooter along with stricter safety checks and official records to be kept of accidents.

Raising the issue in the House of Commons, Mrs Seabeck said: “With an increasing ageing population, some action has to be taken to ensure that standards are maintained in terms of the safety of these vehicles and that some basic training is undertaken by all users.

“It's important that when they're sold to people who've never driven and they intend to use them on the road, that training is compulsory.”

Click here to read the full Telegraph report.

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There is undoubtedly some merit in upskilling users of mobility scooters. I wonder however whether this should be a priority for the Police, particularly when anecdotal evidence suggests there is a lack of enforcement of the laws relating to safer motoring. I also wonder how much of the problem is the unpreparedness of the motoring public for a growth in number of small slow-moving vehicles on the roads. Drivers are really good at taking responsible action when faced with a 10 mph road roller but not so with anything small enough to represent no threat of harm to themselves. I'd suggest there needs to be some improvement in driver attitude to scooter users. Also some serious effort to remove obstruction from the footpaths particularly on major roads, so as to reduce the need for scooter users to tangle with traffic moving at speed.
Tim Philpot, Wolverhampton

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