Mobility scooters aren’t usually associated with the action-packed world of have-a-go heroism. However, one grandmother recently put her scooter to use as a tool to fight crime.
92 year old Eileen Mason was riding alongside her 75 year old friend Margaret Seabrook when they were set upon by a mugger. The mugger grabbed Eileen Mason by the arm and attempted to snatch her handbag. However, he hadn’t reckoned on the pensioner’s indomitable spirit. Ms Mason was heard to exclaim “oh no you don’t!” She then accelerated and turned sharply with her scooter, thus driving into the would-be thief.
“He was so evil looking,” Ms Mason later remarked. “Something in me just told me to turn so I squeezed the accelerator and turned and he went flying.” Thanks to her instincts and her trusty mobility scooter, the heroic grandmother was able to protect herself and her friend.
Eileen Mason’s steely determination to defend herself is hardly surprising. She and her friend Margaret had survived the bombings of the Second World War. After living through that, she wouldn’t (as she put it) “let a weasel like that hold us back.”
Crime-fighting is a pretty unusual use for a mobility scooter. However, it demonstrates just how empowering these devices can be. Mobility scooter users might need a little help getting around, but their scooters ensure that they can be just as capable and independent as everyone else. For Eileen Mason, being capable and independent just happens to include cleaning up the streets, one mugger at a time.
Of course, Ms Mason is an exceptional person and we don’t generally recommend that our mobility scooters be used for crime-fighting purposes. However, if you want to feel the power and independence that a mobility scooter can bring, you should take a look at our products at Pro Rider Mobility or contact our order hotline on 01604 813428.
Mobility scooters allow thousands of people to get around and generally fend for themselves in a way they simply couldn’t manage otherwise, but there are limits to what they can be used for – or are there? One owner in Hartlepool who has been using a mobility scooter to get out and about after breaking a leg, didn’t let it prevent him from enjoying a day’s fishing, even if it did involve hitching his boat to the back of his scooter and towing it – very slowly – through the centre of town.
22 year old butcher, Luke Cartridge, said he didn’t realise traffic was backing up behind him at first, but claimed that most drivers had a laugh when they realised what was causing the hold-up. With the extra load, his scooter could only manage 2 mph and eventually he was asked by police to pull over to let traffic pass. Cleveland Police later confirmed, however, that it was perfectly legal for the boat to be towed by the scooter.
It wasn’t breaking the law, but perhaps towing a boat is not the best use for a mobility scooter – at least not in heavy traffic! It’s not illegal to ride a class 3 mobility scooter on restricted speed double carriageways either, but it’s not recommended (unless there’s no alternative). At Pro Rider Mobility, we know how mobility scooters can transform a disabled user’s life, and we support their use for all kinds of activities, apart from those that put the user and other road users at risk.
Following an accident, the supermarket Sainsbury’s has permanently banned one mobility scooter user from entering any of its 1,200 UK stores. But are they overreacting?
The accident was severe enough to warrant paramedics being called. Albert Carter (the 80-year-old mobility scooter user) had paid for his shopping at the customer service kiosk and, when turning his scooter to leave, mistakenly drove into a woman standing near to him. In his panic, Carter then drove the scooter into the kiosk.
However, it is also worth noting that this is the only accident Carter has ever been involved in while riding his mobility scooter. As such, while the incident was quite grievous and distressing for everyone involved, it seems unreasonable inflict a lifetime ban on Albert Carter.
But was Sainsbury’s harsh response really about Albert Carter himself, or was the company afraid of legal action?
It’s entirely possible for those injured in supermarkets by mobility scooters to sue the supermarket: In December of last year, a woman named Eileen Hayes was knocked over by a mobility scooter while shopping in Asda. Her leg was broken in the incident and she is now suing Asda. In all likelihood, Sainsbury’s is simply concerned about the possibility that they would face legal action themselves if Carter were to have another accident within one of their stores.
However, is it really fair to force vulnerable mobility scooter drivers to deal with the consequences of Britain’s litigious culture? While some drivers are genuinely careless, most who are involved in accidents are, like Carter, simply the victims of bad luck.
Specialists in Mobility Scooters and Electric Wheelchairs