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to think mobility scooters should stay on the pavement unless they are registered and insured

(28 Posts)
M0nica Sat 18-Mar-17 14:59:50

This morning I was driving through a small local town; the road was narrow, there was oncoming traffic and, despite the presence of a more than ample well surfaced pavement, traffic was held up by a mobility scooter, hogging the centre of the road and, approaching a roundabout, was failing to give any indication which way he wanted to go when he reached it.

I know there are times when there is a lack of a proper footpath or no path at all, but I still think that if a mobility scooter is going to go on the road, then the driver should be assessed as mentally and physically capable of driving on a public road, and should have a registration number on the vehicle that shows they are insured.

This not the first time I have experienced poor driving by mobility scooter drivers. Last year I was on a coach trip, sitting behind the driver looking out on the road ahead over his head. We were in a deeply rural area going up a steep blind hill behind a mobility scooter, travelling very slowly. As we reached the top and had a clear view so that the coach driver could start to overtake, the mobility scooter suddenly slewed across the road in front of the coach and then briefly waved their right hand to show they wanted to turn right. It was only the coach driver's careful driving that saved the scooter and its driver from being run over.

granfromafar Sat 18-Mar-17 16:42:32

I totally agree with you - surely it is illegal as well as unsafe for them to be on the road. We live in a fairly quiet road where mobility scooter drivers use both the pavement and roads, sometimes even having 1 or 2 dogs on a lead at the same time - now that's really dangerous! If there is no footpath available then there is no alternative apart from driving on the road, but otherwise there is no excuse. Maybe there are some GN users who are also mobility scooter users and they could give us their opinion?

PRINTMISS Sat 18-Mar-17 16:49:39

Of course they should stay on the footpath, the trouble is of course that speed is limited to (I think) 4 miles per hour on the pavement as it should be, and if you go faster than that then you
can be prosecuted. Some mobility scooters will onlydo the 4 mph I believe, but others more robust are able to reach 8 miles an hour.
The solution is to have mobility scooters which will only reach the 4 mile limit, so that people are not tempted to risk the road when pavements are available. There will always be the odd one of course.

shysal Sat 18-Mar-17 17:19:15

It is legal for a class 3 mobility scooter to use the road. They are advised not to use a dual carriageway with a speed limit of over 50mph, but not actually banned. I looked this up a few months ago after I joined a queue following one on a 70mph part of the A 40 in the rush hour! I couldn't believe that it was allowed! There is a good cycle track there but they are not permitted to use them!

Iam64 Sat 18-Mar-17 18:59:22

Mobility Scooters have to be a good thing but, on the road? I don't think so. Also, even on the pavement it depends on the person manoeuvring the mob scooter. Like any other kind of vehicle, so much depends on the driver. I'm lucky to be able to walk but if and when even that basic thing is beyond me, I hope I can use a mob scooter, sensibly and carefully. I can't imagine the mayhem my own mother would have caused on a mob scooter, she was lethal with a pram and don't get me started on mum on a bike

BlueBelle Sat 18-Mar-17 19:17:26

Round here young completely mobile people use them as a cheap form of transport and have you noticed how big some are getting I ve had my foot run over by one in a shop and knocked off my cycle by one coming out of a side road
Brilliant for really disabled folks as long as they are.reasonible size but definitely shouldn't be on the road

Ana Sat 18-Mar-17 19:23:47

And they're so quiet! They sneak up on you when you're walking on the pavement and just overtake you - one false move by either party and there could be a serious accident.

I'm always wary of them, but better on pavements than on the roads, I think.

Shinyredcar Sat 18-Mar-17 19:33:33

I agree with OP, they should all be insured and licensed, with regular tests for drivers. I understand how valuable they can be to people with reduced mobility, but in shops they can cause havoc. Also, sadly, the people using them often have impaired vision, slower reactions or poor spatial awareness resulting from their illness. Because there are no regular checks, this can creep up on users who were previously OK.

My family were horrified when DH, medically prevented from driving, was found to be considering buying a mobility scooter. I took him to a showroom to help him to accept that he would not be safe. Despite demolishing the demonstration track and chasing the assistant round the showroom because he couldn't remember how to brake, he still insisted he would be fine. I was in the doghouse for months afterwards for refusing to pay for one!

bumblebee123 Sun 19-Mar-17 08:03:17

OH DEAR, OH DEAR, OH DEAR. I sometimes see topics on these pages with which I disagree but I keep my cakehole shut. However, on this occasion I must vent my opinion. First of all, have all those in favour of keeping mobility carts off the road ever noticed the space on pavements? There isn't room to get a mobility cart between garden walls and parked cars. I often see women with prams having to resort to using the road. I, using my crutches, have to go on the road because of parked cars, overgrown hedges and people doing car repairs on the pavement. Should I be made to stay at home? My wife uses a mobility cart and nine times out of ten has to use the road when walking Benny. She has about 180 yards to go to a point where she can turn onto a footpath that is for pedestrians only BUT, she has to watch out for cyclists who, to get onto the path, have to go through a no cycing sign. One day, before my accident, while walking the dog, we even had to get a policeman to shift his police car so that she could get through. Then there is the nightmare of days for using the pavement, BIN DAY, every Tuesday, when residents deposit their bins in the middle of the pavement. Today is Sunday, most people are at home so for disabled people to stick to the footpath is a NO NO. Maybe we disabled people should spend the rest of our lives indoors and leave the outdoors to the inconsiderate people who have passed a driving test and think they know it all and own the road. I am not nice to know when vexed. Now, anybody want to change their opinion?

Christinefrance Sun 19-Mar-17 08:49:53

I can see both points of view here and a lot of the problems seem to stem from a lack of respect for each other. The issue of parked cars and bins on the pavement is a real problem for disabled people and those with prams. Mobility scooter use has increased far more than anyone anticipated I think. I don't know what the answer is, more limitation on scooter usage, bylaws to keep pavements clear. It's time to take stock and understand that there have to make restrictions on use of roads and pavements.
I have yet to see a mobility scooter in this part of France, the record of disabled access here is poor.

Anniebach Sun 19-Mar-17 08:54:22

So ban mobility scooters and cause the disabled to stay in their homes ?

Charleygirl Sun 19-Mar-17 09:03:43

I am aware of somebody who had to give up driving because of impaired eyesight but was considering buying a mobility scooter. I personally think that people should have to pass an eye test when buying a scooter as we have to when driving.

Maybe I am lucky but the people I have been walking close to when driving a mobility scooter have not had problems. I have trouble negotiating a pavement and I have one stick- mainly because the fruit and vegetables shops (of which there are many) display their wares on the pavement taking up too much room.

ggmarion Sun 19-Mar-17 09:34:25

Has anyone been to Tenerife where motability scooters seem to be the preferred method of getting from one bar to another. They can be sooped up to quite a speed and terrorise pedestrians on the prom. I have even seen them with a sort of platform on the back for another person to hitch a ride. Here in the u.k. I feel that they should be on the pavement wherever possible but can see the problem on bin day etc. Car drivers can be so inconsiderate when they park across the dip with lowered kerb designed to make crossing the road easier.

ninathenana Sun 19-Mar-17 10:18:12

Nobody is advocating banning mobility scooters, they are a wonderful invention and a life libe to many but they do need better regulating. There are two people in this area who insist on using the busy coast road rather than the wide pavement. There are no houses on this road so no bins or badly parked cars, so why hmm.
I do sympathise with scooter users, mum was one before her dementia took hold but I often reminded her not to travel on the road except when passing bins, cars etc.

Anniebach Sun 19-Mar-17 10:35:14

I am thinking of buying a mobility scooter and have been reading up on them, seems they are devided into classes, pavement scooters and road scooters, depending on speed of scooter. I do think there should be insurance but if a road scooter allowances should be made as there are for bicycles

goldengirl Sun 19-Mar-17 11:02:39

As we're an ageing population perhaps thought ought to be given to wider FLAT pavements for those of us with mobility problems. When new roads are being made consideration should be given to pavement users too. My problem is temporary but it's making me understand the problems more - road 'furniture', parked cars, bicycles using the pavement, bins, buggies with pushers on the phone, sloping surfaces often poorly maintained.......

M0nica Sun 19-Mar-17 12:37:09

I understand all the problems with lack of pavements that drives scooter riders onto the road. The second incident I described happened in a deeply rural area where there was no footpath, but because people who use these scooters do have to use the road sometimes we need to know that they are safe on the road and so are other road users.

If someone has eyesight problems, or has never held a driving licence, so has no knowledge of the basic 'rules of the road' or the Highway Code, they are likely to be a danger not just to themselves but other people.

BlueBelle Sun 19-Mar-17 13:02:18

I ve no problem with mobility scooters at all but a) they are often used by people who aren't disabled I ve seen young men with their girlfriend on their knees or another youth standing on the back b) they are getting huge with hard outer casing like a blooming car and nearly as big c) I see people get out and dash around the shops others take the huge things in the shops and whizz round the aisles d) have you seen the tandem ones oh yes two seaters
They aren't safe on the roads often driving down the middle I don't mind them on the pavements as long as they are reasonably sized and are driven carefully
Bins and other objects on the paths are an equal nuicence especially to the blind as well as disabled people with prams and small toddlers

Galen Sun 19-Mar-17 13:09:45

The main problem I find is lack of availability of accessible dropped curbs. Some times I, like the chicken wish to cross the road, and it can be difficult.

NanaandGrampy Sun 19-Mar-17 14:45:40

I need a mobility scooter to walk more than 50 metres . It's my lifeline. I have a hoist in my car , and the two combined give me complete freedom , even to the point of travelling unaccompanied overseas.

I don't drive on the road as it is only legal to do so in a Class 3 scooter with a maximum speed of 8 mph. You must register a Class 3 scooter with the DVLC. You can only drive a Class 2 scooter on the road if there is no pavement ( top speed 4 mph).

There are no eyesight test required for either but you must be able to read a vehicle registration plate 40 ft away . If you can't and you have an accident you will be held at fault and required to pay compensation.

I'm finding more and more often dropped kerbs are blocked or cars park across access points and some shops persist on putting large displays on the end of narrow aisles that prevent me turning a corner.

I try and be as mindful of pedestrians as I can but have to admit they are often less mindful of me, turning in front of me sharply or dashing across my path. These vehicles do not have brakes as such , just a 'dead mans' accelerator, if you let go you stop. So it's not so easy to stop sharply.

Stansgran Sun 19-Mar-17 19:00:32

Not intending to derail but if someone has a scooter ,is disabled and walks dogs, how do they scoop the poop?

NanaandGrampy Sun 19-Mar-17 19:26:33

Something like this Stansgran

NanaandGrampy Sun 19-Mar-17 19:27:00

Oops forgot to attach the picture

bumblebee123 Mon 20-Mar-17 07:14:01

Just what the dogtor ordered, a pooper scooper. Generally, people using mobility vehicles are capable of going a few steps and able to 'pick up the poop'. However,have you ever watched able bodied people walking their dogs? How many pick up their poodles poop?

Anya Mon 20-Mar-17 07:34:34

This is an issue really needs sorting.

Should able-bodied people be free to use disability scooters?

Should there be a licence? A test?

More rules and regulations?

I hear that users are getting a bad name and that some (perfectly innocent) users are getting flack from pavement users. And, as highlighted by N&G's post there are so many obstacles put in their way.