New Highway Code for mobility scooters launched

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New Highway Code for mobility scooters launched

8th September 2010

A new Highway Code for UK mobility scooter drivers has been launched following concern over the increasing number of accidents caused by the vehicles.

Daniel Denton, a personal injury lawyer at Fentons Solicitors LLP with experience in dealing with mobility scooter accidents said: "Due to the huge rise in the number of these kinds of incident, it is vital that mobility scooter drivers have access to information on the safe handling of their vehicles."

Mobility scooters which have a top speed of 8mph do not currently require their owners to undergo any kind of training despite a recent Department of Transport (DoT) survey that found most people interviewed believed mobility scooter training should be mandatory.

53 per cent of those questioned believed mobility scooter drivers should be tested; 78 per cent of people said they should undergo training; 81 per cent stressed the importance of an eye test and 61 per cent felt they should be insured like motorists.

DoT figures show that one in five people either use a mobility scooter or have a family member, close friend or colleague who uses one. The figures also reveal that seven per cent of people have either been injured by a mobility scooter or have a family member, close friend or colleague who has been injured by one.

"The soaring rise in the number of mobility scooter accidents highlights the need for education and advice to increase safety and allay public concerns regarding untrained scooter drivers," said Daniel.

Divided into seven sections, the new Highway Code - created by Norfolk constabulary in partnership with the retailer, Halfords - offers helpful safety tips such as the importance of avoiding overloading scooters and driving while under the influence of alcohol or medication that may cause drowsiness, staying clear of motorways, giving priority to pedestrians especially children, the elderly and the disabled, and ensuring scooters are visible, their lights are working and their batteries are fully charged.

According to the Office for National Statistics the UK population aged 65 and over increased from 15 per cent in 1984 to 16 per cent in 2009, an increase of 1.7 million people. By 2034, 23 per cent of the population is predicted to be aged 65, suggesting safety issues in regard to mobility scooters may become a problem if not seriously addressed.

"Mobility scooters help many people attain a sense of freedom and independence," said Daniel. "This Highway Code is an invaluable tool to raise awareness and help educate mobility scooter drivers and their carers about key safety issues, issues they must learn to ensure their mobility does not compromise the safety of those around them."

How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of road traffic collisions.

If you think that you have a case or require further information contact Fentons on 0800 0191 297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.

Source - Telegraph