The family of a man who was hit by a car while crossing a road on his mobility scooter “without looking, or slowing or stopping” has demanded tighter rules to be brought in to regulate who can buy the equipment.
The 86-year-old, who had Alzheimer’s, died last January in Derby of lung disease but an inquest found that the crash was a contributory factor.
A coroner at the inquest said she would write to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling urging a change in legislation that would restrict who can buy mobility scooters after three local deaths involving the equipment in the last 18 months.
Now the deceased man’s stepdaughter, Julie Clare, wants the Government to take action to prevent more of the UK’s 350,000 mobility scooter users being injured or killed.
Ms Clare told a national newspaper that she had tried to stop her stepfather from purchasing a mobility scooter but added that he could “present very well to people, even though he had dementia”.
She told The Express: “He always looked smart in a suit and tie. He failed his driving test in 2014 and people were worried that he would become suicidal, so he was encouraged to buy a scooter.
“But he was not fit to be out on the roads. One day I was with him and he drove straight across the road without looking. It was frightening.
“He refused to take out any insurance but by law he didn’t need to. This has caused a real split in the family.”
Ms Clare is registered blind and described how on the day she was granted her daily living allowance because of her failing eyesight she received leaflets telling her she could drive a mobility scooter.
She added: “There need to be stricter controls on the use of these vehicles. They can kill, they are not toys.
“I have almost been run down by one on the pavement. There are some irresponsible people driving these scooters.
“It’s scandalous and the Government needs to sort it out.”
The latest data available from the Department for Transport shows that 14 mobility scooter users were killed in 2016 compared to just one in 2013.