On Friday 11th March, Sussex police were alerted by a concerned motorist that there was an elderly man riding a mobility scooter down the carriageway of the A2011 near Crawley. The motorist flagged down a police car at around 12.45 pm to report the OAP and said that he was very concerned for his safety.
The 92-year-old pensioner found himself on the busy 70mph dual carriageway after taking a wrong turn. Passing motorists spotted the elderly gentleman, and it wasn’t long before a concerned driver alerted the police.
PC Katie Breeds responded to the call for help, and said the pensioner was found in a ‘very confused’ state. PC Breeds said: “He was very confused and really didn’t know where he was. We sat him in the back of our police car and waited for a colleague in a van to collect the mobility scooter. Then we delivered the scooter and driver back home to his warden-assisted accommodation in Crawley.”
PC Breeds also commented: “It’s a bust 70mph dual carriageway and we are grateful to the motorist for stopping. We caught up with the man heading away from the M23 in the A2011 Crawley Avenue.”
Safely back at home, the elderly gentleman is now recovering from his ordeal.
Rules for mobility scooters
In the UK, you do not need a driving licence to drive a mobility scooter or powered wheelchair, but you may have to register it. There are two categories of mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs, and only certain types can be driven on the road.
There are Class 2 and Class 3 invalid carriages, and only Class 3 are allowed to drive on the road. Class 2 invalid carriages can only be ridden on pavements, except for where there isn’t a pavement, such as a country lane for example. Class 2 vehicles have a maximum speed of 4mph. Class 3 vehicles have a maximum speed of 4mph off the road, and 8mph on the road. Class 3 invalid carriages must be registered, but you do not need to register a class 2 invalid carriage.
To drive a mobility scooter you must be over the age of 14 years.
You risk being stopped by the police if your Class 3 invalid carriage doesn’t have the following features:
• a maximum unladen weight of 150kg
• a maximum width of 0.85 metres
• a device to limit its speed to 4mph
• a maximum speed of 8mph
• an efficient braking system
• front and rear lights and reflectors
• direction indicators able to operate as a hazard warning signal
• an audible horn
• a rear view mirror
• an amber flashing light if it’s used on a dual carriageway
Class 3 vehicles are not allowed to drive on bus lanes, motorways or cycle only lanes. It is also recommended that drivers avoid using dual carriageways that have a speed limit of over 50mph.