The law surrounding mobility scooters is often misunderstood and ignored.
Here are some laws that you may not be aware of:
- Class 2 mobility scooter are not allowed on the road, they may use pavements only. Except when crossing the road.
- Insurance is not mandatory.
- Road going vehicles (class 3) must be registered with the DVLA. Your dealer should do this for you.
- Mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs cannot travel faster than 4mph on the pavement.
- Anyone over the age of 14 can use purchase a mobility scooter, however they must have a health condition to use one.
- The maximum speed in the UK is 8mph.
I wanted to concentrate this blog on the second point in my list. The fact that insurance is not compulsory is crazy to me.
A 150kg scooter (plus user weight) travelling at 8mph can do a lot of damage, without insurance the user is liable for any damage caused, to person or property. In a recent BBC television program called “The trouble with mobility scooters”, the insurance company featured spoke of claims in excess of £100,000.
A reputable mobility retailer will strongly recommend insurance when a mobility scooter is purchased, but they cannot force a customer to sign up.
I fully support mandatory mobility scooter insurance as well as a required training session before the user is allowed to operate one of these vehicles. Unfortunately, the DVLA does not recognise mobility scooters or powered wheelchairs as vehicles, rather calling them invalid carriages. It is therefore unlikely that the same rules that apply to cars will ever apply to mobility scooters and powerchairs.
There are now more mobility scooters on the streets of the UK and HGV lorries. Amazing huh? Reports of theft of these scooters increase every day. Please, if you are going to purchase one for you or a family member, think about insuring it, not just for your benefit, but for other peoples as well.