Hit and Run Mobility Scooter Madness
A number of high-profile accidents involving mobility scooters have raised concern that drivers cannot be prosecuted and caused some to float the idea of testing users.
With a top speed of 4mph for the mobility scooters designed to travel on pavements, you might think that it was hard for their users to drive dangerously.
No official statistics exist for the number of accidents involving the scooters, but there are tales from around the country of old ladies steering into shop windows, mobility scooters trundling along motorways and even people driving off railway platforms.
There have even been injuries to pedestrians. Last year two-year-old Madison McNair was knocked down by a 70-year-old woman driving a mobility scooter on a pedestrianised street in Doncaster.
Caught in the wheels of the machine, the toddler was dragged down the road as the driver carried on apparently unaware of what had happened. Since mobility scooters are exempt from the Road Traffic Act the police were powerless to act against the driver.
I blogged about this story a couple of years ago now and it’s obvious that nothing has changed since then.
A kind of cycling proficiency test has been mooted as has a kind of three-strikes-and-you're-out rule to help ensure better safety for mobility scooter users and members of the public they come into contact with. However, policing and enforceability of such rules need a lot of careful thought. Surely, to do things properly, the first step is a legislative change to bring mobility scooters under the ambit of the Road Traffic Act?
Granted, mobility scooters grant users freedom and independence but that can't come at any price. While, there are of course avenues for redress for victims under civil law – such as a personal injury claim – that is arguably simply not enough. It seems there are a few too many of these scooters out and about now causing too many injuries for the present situation to continue without some form of regulation.