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MPs call for compulsory mobility scooter training

27th February 2015

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

Following the release of shocking statistics relating to mobility scooter crashes, MPs have called for the introduction of compulsory training by the government. In the past year alone, five drivers have died, with more than 164 accidents recorded. It is also thought that the true figure is likely to be even higher, as less than half of police forces have actually recorded the accidents in the past year.

Those who rely on home adaptations, such as disabled stairlifts, often use mobility scooters to get around outside the house, and MPs feel more should be done to ensure that they are used safely. There are currently more than 300,000 mobility scooter users in the UK, which is set to significantly rise due to the ageing population, so there is even more urgency for the training.

MPs are calling for the government to take action

Currently, mobility scooters are classified as medical devices, meaning that they are not covered by the Road Traffic Act, preventing police from prosecuting for dangerous driving. The vehicles can reach up to 10mph an hour and can be driven without a license, making them extremely attractive, not just to those with mobility difficulties. As they are cheap to run and do not require tax or insurance there has also been a rise in the number of able-bodied users.

Alison Seabeck is an MP for Plymouth Moor view who feels that the government is not taking the mobility scooter dangers issue seriously, and has written to the Transport Minister Robert Goodwill to express her concerns. She believes that accidents are on the increase, and that the lack of knowledge and poor roadworthiness are all potential causes for the crashes that have been occurring. It is thought that by introducing training, whether privately or in a shop, will prevent a number of these accidents.

Image Credit: brianac37 (Flickr.com)

This content was written by Emily Bray. Please feel free to visit my Google + profile to read more stories.