Like all vehicles a mobility scooter can cause considerable damage to both the general public and its user if it collides with someone or another vehicle. With this in mind it’s important we know the rules of the road when using any vehicle and that we know how to use it correctly. When driving any vehicle you are responsible for your own and other peoples safety around you. Don’t forget that if you haven’t been a road user for some time or you are new to the scooter world we’d suggest you take a short training course. For details on courses you can attend you can contact your local disabled living centre, mobility centre or your local authority road safety unit.
Vehicles or means of transport which aren’t allowed on the road.
- Manual Wheelchairs- whether they are self-propel or transit wheelchairs.
- Powered Wheelchairs
- Boot or Pavement Scooters.
What’s different about a road scooter?
A scooter which is suitable for use on the road will have harder-wearing tyres along with a more substantial body for extra protection and durability. Along with this they will go up to top speeds of 8 miles/ 12 kilometres an hour. Although you can use this vehicle on the road it isn’t defined as a motor vehicle and therefore the user doesn’t need a driving licence or to take a test. These mobility scooters can only be used by a disabled person who is aged 14 or over. However, an able-bodied person can drive the vehicle if they are demonstrating it or taking it to a place for maintenance. Smaller scooters for mobility don’t need to be registered with the DVLA however a road scooter does. These vehicles can be taxed in the disabled category which allows free taxation. Although it’s free it does need to be re-taxed each year. There is no fee to pay and the vehicle does not need registration plates. Each class 3 scooter comes with a DVLA registration form (V55/4) which needs to be filled in and sent to the DVLA headquarters;
Important basic advice.
It’s very important that you get a scooter for your mobility needs. Osteopoise will access and advise you as to which scooter will help you. We’ll then make sure you know what all the buttons do and that you can keep control of the vehicle. Along with understanding how to use your mobility scooter, it’s very important that it’s regularly maintained. Get to know how far you can go on a fully charged battery so you never get caught out. Don’t forget to recharge your battery regularly. The distance you can travel will always depend on the road and weather conditions you’re travelling in.
Although unlike other vehicles you don’t need to insure your mobility scooters we strongly recommend you do. This will cover you for third-party accidents whether you or the other person is to blame for fire, theft or damage to your vehicle.
Plan your journey.
Don’t forget unlike other vehicles you need to plan your route not on the most direct or shortest distance but the journey with the least high kerbs, steep hills and other elements which might take more battery life than needed.
Out and About
Like all other road users, you shouldn’t use your mobility scooter if you’ve been drinking or taking drugs. If you’re taking medication always check on the information supplied or with your doctor to whether it’s safe to travel whilst taking them. If any medication causes drowsiness we advise you don’t use your scooter. See and be seen! Don’t forget that your lights are there as much to make sure you’re seen by other road users as for you to see others. If you’re using anything to protect you from the weather, a basket to carry items or anything else make sure it doesn’t obscure your light which will allow others to see you. In addition to lighting, we’d always suggest you put fluorescent material on your scooter or wear high-vis so you’re seen.
In addition to the above you should consider the following:
- Don’t wear loose clothing when using mobility scooters as they may get caught.
- Do not carry anyone else on board.
- Do not carry or lead a pet whilst operating your vehicle.
- Don’t overload your scooter with shopping or other items above its carry weight.
- Take it steady up and down kerbs in case of toppling.
- If you can’t see ahead clearly or you’re going around a corner, slow down so you’re travelling at a safe speed to stop.
- If you’re on uneven terrain reduce your speed to avoid slipping.
- Always keep an eye out for pedestrians.
- Pedestrians have the right of way!
- Remember if you’re using a road scooter you need to reduce the speed to 4 miles per hour if you’re travelling on pavements.
- Make sure you’re aware of everything around you in busy places whether that’s on the road or in a busy shop.
- When using your mobility scooters on the road it’s important you follow the rules of the road like any other vehicle.
- Regardless of being on a mobility scooter, you need to obey traffic lights and provide hand signals if you’re turning.
- Although you can use your scooter on a dual carriageway (although we don’t recommend it) you can’t use it on a motorway.
- Like cars, you cannot use bus or cycle lanes or tracks.
- Always indicate if you wish to move or turn.
- Always remember to look out for doors opening if you’re passing parked cars.
- Remember to look around you in addition to using your mirrors so you have an accurate impression of distance and other road users.
- If you’re wishing to turn right in some situations it may be wiser to turn left onto a pedestrian crossing.
- Don’t forget to use your scooter hazard lights if you are stuck or can’t move for any reason.
- Like with a car make sure you don’t park up where you may be causing an obstruction or danger to other road users.