A leading driver awareness group has made its voices heard on the issue of mobility scooter safety, which is an increasing problem on UK streets and for the industry.
IAM Roadsmart wants road laws clarified with better education for scooter users and has called for equipment to be confiscated from persistent offenders as a last resort.
The organisation was speaking in response to a rising number of cases where pedestrians have been injured by people driving mobility scooters without due care and attention and sometimes under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
Mobility scooter users do not currently require an official license or assessment to be able to use equipment and the both class 2 and 8mph class 3 scooters can be freely purchased online.
In a report by The Telegraph, Rebecca Ashton from IAM Roadsmart, indicated that mobility scooters should be seized if their users continue to be a menace on the streets and welcomed better education for users.
She told the newspaper: “Anyone driving a mechanically-propelled vehicle must be in full control of it, they need to be fully capable of controlling the machine to avoid causing danger to themselves or other road users.
“Persistent offenders should be fined every time and banned if have a licence, offering a re-education course could help people to understand the dangers of using such a machine while unfit through drink or drugs.
“Education is paramount to helping people know what they can and can’t do on their mobility scooters, and investment into helping people understand the rules would be welcomed.
“We would say each case would need to be looked at on an individual basis, with education playing an important role. Removing the scooter should only be considered when all other options have failed.”
Meanwhile, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), which compiles statistics on scooter incidents, said that accidents have been on the rise since records started in 2013.
A spokesperson told The Telegraph that mobility scooters create some risk for both the user and for other people, the same as any form of transport.
“The number of accidents and casualties involving mobility scooters is increasing,” they said.
“It would help if it was made clear that road traffic laws governing careless and dangerous driving all apply to mobility scooter users.”
The industry is all too familiar with mobility scooter incidents. While most dealers carry out thorough assessments, train users and refuse sales to people they deem incapable of using equipment, legislation is yet to be changed.
Insurance and training remains an option for scooter users and the sale of scooters is unregulated online.