Road safety professionals in Jersey hope a new scheme to support mobility scooter riders will have a positive knock-on effect on the safety of all road users.
The ‘Mobility Scooter Scheme’ is described as a multi-agency initiative involving States of Jersey (the island’s council), the sight impairment charity EYECAN, the brain injury association Headway, Shopmobility and Jersey’s Occupational Health Department.
Resources include a training DVD and leaflet designed to help mobility scooter users ride their vehicle safely on the island’s pavements, roads and pedestrian areas.
The video includes information on how to choose a suitable scooter, how they work and the various manoeuvres that the rider has to be able to make.
Interviews with people who are hard of hearing, sight impaired and brain injured – as well as someone who witnessed a collision involving a pedestrian and mobility scooter user – are included on the video, and have also been published on the Jersey Safer Roads website.
Kevin Lewis, Jersey’s minister for infrastructure, said: “We’re preparing for islanders living longer by giving them access to the information they need to be able to most effectively use mobility scooters.
“While only a small number of accidents in recent years have involved them, mobility scooters are expected to grow in number as our population’s average age increases, and the risk that they pose to all road users is therefore likely to increase. This scheme seeks to address that issue.”
The scheme has the backing of local retailers – who have signed up to a code of conduct to ensure the prospective user purchases the correct scooter for their needs and capabilities.
Dave Malpas, transport planner with the States of Jersey council, said: “Our island retailers work hard to make sure that customers choose a mobility scooter that suits them, but we’ve noticed that users aren’t always sure where to get help once they’ve bought theirs.
“The new scheme will ensure that they’re given help and advice both before they buy and afterwards.”