January 7, 2010

Driving Lessons For Mobility Scooter Users

Drivers of mobility scooters are being given road safety training following a series of accidents.

Norfolk Police are teaching users how to slalom round traffic cones and how to improve their reversing skills and parallel parking.

Despite the scooters having a top speed of just 6mph, drivers have been involved in serious collisions with pedestrians and other scooter users.

Last year in Doncaster a toddler was knocked down by one of the vehicles and dragged down the road. The 70-year-old woman driver was apparently unaware of what had happened.

Shopkeepers in Great Yarmouth have complained that drivers are knocking over displays.

Scooter retailers welcomed the move.Michael Lockwood of South Norfolk Mobility Centre told Sky News: “It’s a brilliant idea. Some of these machines can weigh 140 kilos and in the wrong hands can be very dangerous.

“A pedestrian had her hip broken a while ago and I’ve also heard of a hit and run incident. The government needs to ensure all drivers are insured.”

Presently, drivers are exempt from road traffic rules – they do not need to take a driving test or have a licence to use a scooter. There is also no legal requirement for insurance.

An adjournment debate, titled Mobility Scooters and Road Safety, is being held in the Commons, and in February MPs will hold an inquiry into scooter safety.

One option is to ensure that training is given before drivers are allowed on the streets.

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