A mobility scooter training initiative in Horsham is the latest to spring up around the country amid growing concern of the dangers of untrained users driving around UK streets and roads.
Lessons and training sessions are being offered in a pilot scheme run by a community partnership and a district forum and supported by Age UK.
Training is aimed at both novices and experienced users. Schemes like the one in Horsham are becoming increasingly common as the dangers of untrained scooter users comes more prevalent.
There are already around 350,000 scooters being used every day in the UK and this number is set to increase year on year.
Between 2011 and 2015 there have been an estimated 23 fatalities with a further 490 injuries involving mobility scooters.
The spokesman continued: “There is no requirement to register or insure mobility scooters, have any driving experience or have any training. Provided you have the money you can purchase your machine, ride off and drive most places off road.”
“To help prevent these accidents, give training and confidence to new users it is proposed to run a free pilot training scheme in Horsham. If this proves to be successful, the programme could be ongoing. We are in contact with Gosport Older Persons Forum who have run a similar successful pilot scheme and they have agreed to share their experiences and support us setting up our scheme.”
In August, the Department for Transport (DfT) declared that it will work alongside mobility providers and the BHTA to promote scooter training and training facilities. It has also said it will identify and promote scooters which are “most appropriate for public transport”.
A draft ‘action plan’ issued by the Government outlined its concern around a lack of knowledge on scooter controls and road rules among users as well as some larger scooters being unsuitable for certain transport routes.
The action plan is currently awaiting feedback from the public and organisations. The deadline is Wednesday.