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abuse shouted at me because I use a mobility scooter.

(92 Posts)
Caroline2016 Wed 09-May-18 12:08:35

I wondered if there are any other mobility scooter users on the forum ? I ( a very careful driver ) have had to use a scooter since 2011 , I have bad problems with my back due to 29 years of caring for my late husband also problems with my legs resulting from being crushed against a wall by a vehicle , I am getting really fed up with abuse and nasty comments made to me eg , oh here comes Madge , after the Benidorm character , are you safe on that thing or you are just lazy. etc , I would be interested to know if other people suffer from this and how do they react to it , ignore it or retaliate ,
What surprises me most is that the worst offenders are people aged 60+ have they never heard of the Discrimination Against Disabled act ?
I have to say that I get no problems at all with young people ,
20 months ago I moved from a town , to a small village where I thought it would not be a problem but it is almost as bad.

paddyann Wed 09-May-18 13:03:55

My daughter has started a campaign for INVISIBLE disability sufferers.She has Fibromyalgia and several other painful debilitating conditions.On a good day .... a very rare thing...she can drive to the nearest town with her girls .She came home in tears several times after being accused of being a fraud and told to get off her fat A.... by usually older folk who thought they had more right than she did to park in disabled spaces .Its shocking ,since she started the campaign 3 weeks ago she has had msgs form literally hundreds of people in the same situation.One women who was verbally abused while she tried to get her daughters wheelchair out of her car,her daughter has advanced cancer!!
I think the government targetting of the disabled has a lot to do with this,people see disabled as scroungers taking benefits when they "should get a job" another thing yelled at her .
She has managed to get a motion to the Scottish Parliament and she hopes to get signage changed to show that just because you look great some days it doesn't mean you are fit and well .

hildajenniJ Wed 09-May-18 13:26:40

Exactly, just because you look able bodied doesn't mean you are. My DD and SiL get abuse for using disabled parking too. They have three boys on the Autism spectrum and need the extra space for them as they don't understand the dangers in car parks, and if they are stressed, they are a flight risk. This is a particular problem for DGS 2.

Panache Wed 09-May-18 14:03:27

People can be so mean and hearing that much of this abuse comes from us older folk whom truly should have well learned by now that one cannot afford to judge anyone simply by their outward appearance Caroline2016...........sadly though there are some people whom seem "to get off" on putting other people down,they are a scurge on society.
Point is it could well be their turn next.
No one asks to be disabled and the least they should meet with is just simple understanding and respect.
Sadly we live in a society that sometimes choose to hurt,poke fun/undermine those that are only weak because of their health situation.

Good luck to your daughter paddyann,this situation needs nipping in the bud and be properly addressed.She needs our backing for sure.

Madgran77 Wed 09-May-18 15:02:00

I think you need to have some prepared replies to the comments ...not rude or angry but either straight to the point or jokey with a message - whichever suits you best really! So the Madge comment maybe something like " Never been to Benidorm but fortunately this scooter enables me to get to ....(holiday place or local park or whatever!)" The safe comment ..."Safer than you cracking jokes like that!!" All said with a gentle smile!! Alternatively straight answer as to why you need it and move on ...embarrass them a bit, might make the think!!!

HAZBEEN Wed 09-May-18 16:11:04

I have mobility issues because of arthritis in both knees, hip, feet (and hands as well) and so I use a stick when I am out. Due to dodgy pavements I have fell on more than one occasion, the last time outside the post office in our village. People actually stepped over me with one man calling me a fat a* and telling me to get out of his way. An elderly lady who was about 90 was the only one to ask if I was ok and could she help! I have also been pushed out of the way in the bus queue and of course left to stand when there are no seats. I think Paddyann is right to say a lot of the abuse comes from the Government targeting the disabled making people think we are all spongers.

lemongrove Wed 09-May-18 17:22:41

I don’t think it has anything to do with the government at all, it comes from the people concerned ( the insulting ones)
Being world class gits!
It may also depend on where you live, some places have more WCG’s per square metre than others.

BlueBelle Wed 09-May-18 17:43:20

I m sorry you have had problems and it is both nasty and unfair of people to target anyone disabled
Just a quick point I was knocked off my bike by a mobility scooter ramming straight into me from the side, not a back ward glance I don’t even know if it was a man or woman as they had the Perspex blinds down second time I was queuing in M and S and a mobility scooter backed straight onto my foot ( I didn’t say anything except ouch) but it really hurt some mobility scooters are as big as a small car and ride round quite small shops another time a lady’ and man were riding in tandem the lady’s stopped I asked if she was ok or needed any help she asked if I could give her a push to get her going, I did it started and they both rode off into the sunset without even a thank you We have loads here and even seen young lads with their girlfriends on their knee riding around
At the end of the day it’s about respect on both sides

Situpstraight Wed 09-May-18 18:10:33

So let’s all blame the Government then! Cyclists get abused by car drivers, car drivers, get abused by cyclists and pedestrians and other car users.
It seems that anyone on the roads these days gets abuse hurled at them quite regularly, people are so aggressive once they get onto the roads.
I remember back in the day ( cue violins) when drivers and pedestrians used to thank you for courtesy on the roads, not any more, they’re all out to get you!
PS we have a chap in a mobility scooter in our small town and he is a menace on the roads and on the footpaths, does he care? Nope.

We need to stop blaming the Government of the day and start acting responsibly and taking the blame ourselves if we do something wrong.

Sorry for the rant, I expect you are a very careful driver caroline

Sparklefizz Wed 09-May-18 18:11:32

I agree with lemongrove in that I don't think it has anything to do with the Govt and was happening a long time ago. In 1987 when I was in my early 40s, I was extremely ill with an "invisible illness" and was awarded the disabled badge after endless medical examinations. It allowed me to park on double yellow lines for 3 hours. One time I was getting out of my car and a passerby, who had watched me parking, noticed I was wearing trainers and seemed to think that my footwear signified that I was a marathon runner and should not be parking there. Unfortunately, however, there are people who have fake badges bought illegally online, or who lie to claim disability when they are not entitled.

Eglantine21 Wed 09-May-18 19:18:11

I’m another woman ne who has been mowed down by a mobility scooter. She rounded a blind corner at speed, straight into me and then swore at me.

Is it reasonable to suggest that mobility scooters should be limited to walking pace if they are being used on pavements?

Eglantine21 Wed 09-May-18 19:20:09

Dear me. It should say another one who not a woman ne.
I shouldn’t post and watch Judge Judy at the same time!

yggdrasil Wed 09-May-18 20:43:11

Come and move to Burnham on Sea. Here the scooters are in the majority, and some have go-fast stripes grin

mostlyharmless Wed 09-May-18 21:05:01

We don’t seem to have many mobility scooters around here (too many steep hills), but I remember that my mother was a danger to life and limb whenever she hired one!
We would be strolling along a seaside promenade and she would be disappearing into the distance!
But I can’t understand people shouting abuse if you’re using it responsibly (which I’m sure you are).

NanaandGrampy Thu 10-May-18 10:05:42

I'm a mobility scooter user too but don't think anyone has ever made a comment to me ( and they'd get very short shrift if they did!!).

I drive responsibly , the same as if I was driving my car but Id like to say to all you mobile phone users out there, walking along, with your head down and sometimes headphones in ..... if you're not aware of your surroundings and I hit you .... maybe it would be a good idea to pay a bit more attention to where you're going !!

Panache Thu 10-May-18 10:27:40

I could not agree more NanaandGrampy..........these people, hell bent on going about their business, but totally oblivious to us Joe public, are very much a hazard nowadays.

Just try walking through the areas around these Superstores.......I walk with the aid of a cane at this point in time,and believe me the times I have been walked into,its unbelievable..............but because they are so thoroughly "protected from the world" via their ear `phones and/or phones they then march on gaily,totally unaware they may have caused someone damage.

They should have huge labels around their necks saying..............BEWARE I AM LETHAL!!.

123coco Thu 10-May-18 10:28:05

Exactly paddyann. This government has demonised the disabled and anyone claiming allowances. My sister had someone come and assess her st home. She was in bed as she always is. She can walk to bathroom and back and that’s all! She’s had severe ME for 20 yrs. the stress and upset at having her benefits stopped and all the time spent on filling in unimaginable forms has almost destroyed her. She was denied her benefits and the report said she could walk 200 metres!! Apparently it doesn’t count if there inaccuracies! Let’s face it it’s simply a cost cutting excercise and they don’t care that some people have been left homeless or committed suicide over this! And demonising disability has been a deliberate ploy just like demonising all immigrants!

blueberry1 Thu 10-May-18 10:33:10

As a mobility scooter user,I am appalled to hear of this abuse Caroline2016.I have never had any remarks or insults thrown at me.I drive with care and consideration and find that people are generally very kind-car drivers wave me across the road and people will move obstructions on pavements or in supermarkets if they see me struggling to get past.
Perhaps it just depends on where you live!

Lilyflower Thu 10-May-18 10:33:18

It is hardly the government's fault if people are rude. Or rather, only indirectly. When I was younger there was an unspoken rule that everyone was kind and caring towards the disabled and disadvantaged.

Recently however, various parliamentary acts conveying special privileges to particular groups seem to have made these groups a target for public ire. With 'equality' come changes both welcome and unwelcome.

Pammie1 Thu 10-May-18 10:34:04

I am unable to walk at all due to congenital disabiliy. I swapped from a mobility scooter to an outdoor powered wheelchair. I had abuse hurled at me regularly whilst on the scooter, but since opting for a wheelchair people are very courteous and helpful.

blueberry1 Thu 10-May-18 10:35:19

Eglantine there is a speed limit of 4mph for scooters on pavements and 8mph for roads.

Jazzy1527 Thu 10-May-18 10:37:32

Paddyann, I totally agree with the Invisible Disability campaign. My sister came to visit me by train. She had advanced breast cancer and looked ok but was very weak. Travelling home with a heavy suitcase which she could hardly lift, I told her to go through the ‘disabled’ turnstile. When she tried to she was shouted at by a young female attendant who shouted ‘youre not disabled. Go through the proper turnstile’. She was so embarrased she did not correct the woman. This was the last time I saw her and she died a couple of weeks later. It still infuriates me. Never judge unless you know the situation.

Marieeliz Thu 10-May-18 10:38:12

I do sympathise but these scooters seem to be getting larger. In my local small town they go, at speed, out of shop doorways, I have almost been knocked down a few times. The user is a youngish person though.

ReadyMeals Thu 10-May-18 10:40:25

Most of the people calling out these comments probably think they're just doing a bit of friendly teasing. I can understand why it's getting on your nerves but if you bear in mind they probably don't realise it's upsetting you, it might be easier to bear.

peaches50 Thu 10-May-18 10:41:49

Bit of a rant there 123coco? Remember the 'government' is represented by 'people' many who are brilliant but some who have prejudices and are fallible - so if you come across injustice complain and take it up higher. Get your MP to investigate, write to Jeremy Hunt - amazing how that gets an answer at least. Hope you sister gets some restitution but don't forget advocates like Citizen's Advice and Age UK or even Carers UK who can advise. Will your doctor write a letter disputing this?
My husband and I dont use scooters but we do travel in his van (which he kept when he retired) as it is easier to get in and out than the car after my total knee replacement (not good) and his terminal cancer/arthritis which affects his knee joints. He has a disabled badge but the filthy looks and mutterings we get - yes usually from elders can be horrid - I usually ignore but when one plonker wound down his window and shouted 'oi you're using a space I cdl as I AM disabled ' I sweetly smiled and replied 'Be delighted to give it to you if in return you get my husband's lung cancer'. Red face tutting from bystanders and hopefully gave him a lesson in manners and not being so judgemental.