We recently wrote about the mobility scooter user banned from popular supermarket Sainsbury’s for life for accidentally bumping into another shopper. This week in the news, a more serious – and certainly deliberate – incident has taken place.
In the town of Southampton, a 67 year old victim has this week been hit and then run over by a mobility scooter driver. According to a recent article in the Telegraph, the driver deliberately crashed into the victim and, once he had fallen over, went on to run over his legs several times leaving him with a broken ankle. The incident only came to an end when a passer-by finally intervened.
Both victim and perpetrator are pensioners, but it isn’t clear whether or not they know each other. All we do know is that the attack was deliberate, the victim is still recovering in hospital and police are still searching for the unnamed driver. This is, after all, a hit and run, just in a more unusual vehicle.
This isn’t the only case of a mobility scooter hit and run though, as in Portsmouth this week a one year old girl was knocked over in the street, suffering cuts and bruises but no serious injury. We think it’s a shame to see such negative coverage in recent times of mobility scooters, as we know that for the most part, drivers are responsible and wouldn’t do any harm intentionally.
A new travel scheme to help disabled people get around London has been launched. The Turn Up and Go scheme is a six-month trial that has seen 30 stations across London team up to make it more convenient for people using mobility scooters to travel in the capital.
Head of disability and inclusion for the Rail Delivery Group David Sindall explained that many disabled Londoners already travel by rail without booking assistance, but a lot of others have had to organise support 24 hours in advance. People using electric wheelchairs will now be able to get around London much easier thanks to the changes that have been made at the 30 stations. Staff at the stations will now be able to help disabled passengers without this having been arranged in advance.
Mr Sindall said: “Rail services are now far more accessible than ever and we are committed to continuing to make travel by train an attractive prospect for disabled people.”
The Turn Up and Go scheme is backed by Paralympian gold medallist Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, who pointed out that the whole DLR and large parts of the Underground network are now accessible for disabled people, as well as the Overground and London buses. She said: “The entire London Overground network is now Turn Up and Go, which has long been an issue for me. I would urge other rail companies to follow suit.” Baroness Grey-Thompson admitted that improvements can still be made in terms of disabled travel in London, but she says Transport for London are currently “leading the way” in this area.
<a href="http://www viagra in den usa.proridermobility.com/mobility/mobility-scooters/”>Mobility scooters aren’t generally associated with high-octane, high-speed racing. With a top speed of approximately eight miles an hour, the vehicles are primarily designed to provide a genteel method of locomotion for those who have difficulty getting about. However, it seems that a growing number of people want to get more out of their mobility scooters… by using them for motorsport! A peculiar and whimsical subculture appears to be developing in which scooter users overhaul their vehicles to boost their speed and range and then challenge themselves to go as fast or as far as possible.
In 2010, an enthusiast named Colin Furze set a mobility scooter speed record by driving his scooter at 71.59 mph. On another occasion, he even attempted to race a plane on the souped-up mobility aid! Furze has commented on his activities, stating “if you want to turn heads, don’t buy a Ferrari, pimp a mobility scooter up”.
Meanwhile, a motorsport marshal named Steve Tarrant has set multiple endurance records using his scooter. He was injured in 2000 while participating in the Goodwood Festival of Speed but he didn’t let that put him off motorsports! He’s currently hoping to set the record for ‘greatest distance covered in 24 hours’ using his scooter.
Aside from speed and endurance record-setting, the mobility scooter motorsports scene also offers ‘banger racing’, ‘long-distance riding’ and countless other scooter-themed twists on classic motorsports.
Sadly, the scooters we offer for sale won’t let you zoom around a track at over 70 mph or drive record-breaking distances. However, they can greatly improve your mobility and increase your level of freedom and independence. Plus, you can always pimp them up later, if that’s your thing! So why not check out our ecommerce site and see what we have to offer?
Some British news outlets have raised concerns over the possibility that mobility scooters and other small, motorised vehicles (including golf buggies), will have to be insured. The concerns stem from a recent ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union. The ruling is the result of a case in which a man was knocked off a ladder by a tractor but the vehicle’s insurance company refused to pay out on the (rather petty) grounds that the vehicle was not being used as a mode of transport but as a “machine”. As part of its judgement, the court clarified a previous directive regarding the obligation of EU member states to ensure all motor vehicles are insured. Due to the wording of the ruling, it seems that ‘all motor vehicles’ could well include mobility scooters, golf carts and even sit-on lawnmowers.
But is there any real danger that either the EU or the British government will force mobility scooter users to shell out to insure their vehicles? While it’s possible that the UK will interpret the EU court’s ruling literally, it’s unlikely that the nation’s government will come under any real pressure to do so. The ruling was clearly intended to ensure that potentially dangerous vehicles (such as the tractor that played such a crucial role in the original case) are adequately insured. The idea of treating a small scooter with a maximum speed of 8 mph in the same manner as these larger, more lethal machines is patently absurd. So the most literal and inflexible interpretation of the ruling is unlikely to be put into force, either by the UK or the EU.
In other words, if you’re in need of a mobility scooter, you don’t have to worry about paying to have it insured just yet. Plus, with the low prices we offer on our ecommerce site, you don’t need to worry too much about the price of the scooter itself, either!
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.
Every person who owes their independence to a wheelchair or mobility scooter knows that some businesses just aren’t accessible to the disabled. There’s a certain amount of understanding if the necessary work would put genuine financial pressure on a small firm. But what about when the business in question has just scored a three-year TV deal worth an eye-watering £5.136 billion?
According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Premier League clubs are failing their disabled fans in a number of ways. The most shocking revelation is the fact that only Swansea City and Leicester City offer the number of wheelchair spaces recommended by the good practice guide Accessible Stadia. That’s just two of the 20 top-flight clubs. The commission has warned legal action is an option if failures to provide adequate access breach the Equalities Act 2010.
Level Playing Field has now called for the Premier League to take control of the problem and order its clubs to right the wrongs that have been allowed to slip through the net. David Bernstein, the charity’s president and a former Football Association chair, said: “The clubs don’t do it because disabled provision costs money, and they raise the issue of having old grounds. But given the money at the top of the game now, this is indefensible.”
Mobility scooters were, of course, originally invented to help people with disabilities or infirmities get around and give them back a measure of independence. However, an entirely new demographic has also taken to driving around on mobility scooters. It seems that some young people have adopted the scooters as a means of getting around town and between villages.
The main advantage of mobility scooters for the young and able-bodied is their affordability. Not only are they much cheaper to buy than a car, they are also far more affordable to run: they’re not directly affected by the rising price of petrol, you don’t have to pay road tax on them and you don’t need a license to drive them.
There’s some debate over whether it’s technically legal to drive a mobility scooter without a disability. Some politicians have even called for the government to introduce clearer guidelines to prevent younger people from driving the vehicles. This seems slightly mean-spirited though. After all, it doesn’t seem like such a bad thing that young people are finding inventive ways to cope in an age of rising transport costs.
Of course, it is worth considering how safe it is to let younger (potential more reckless) drivers use mobility scooters. As we discussed in a previous blog entry, mobility scooter-related accidents are on the rise. However, that’s not to say that we need to ban certain demographics from using the vehicles. Mandatory training is another valid solution to the issue.
Wherever you stand on the issue of young people riding mobility scooters, there’s no denying that the culture around the vehicles is changing. More and more people see them as a legitimate means of transportation, which can only lead to more varied designs, wider adoption and greater acceptance of users. That’s a good thing for existing scooter drivers regardless of age!
We don’t tend to think of mobility scooters as a particularly dangerous form of transport; with a top speed of approximately 10 mph, it’s hard to imagine one ever causing a significant amount of damage. However, one MP is calling for the government to introduce mandatory mobility scooter training. Alison Seabeck, the MP for Plymouth Moor View, has asserted that the government needs to respond to an increase in the number of mobility scooter-related accidents. She points to the fact that last year, five mobility scooter users were killed and a further 17 injured.
But is it really fair to blame the drivers? Seabeck acknowledges that at least part of the problem is the “poor roadworthiness” of some scooters. If this is the case, surely the companies selling unsafe scooters have to shoulder some of the blame.
Here at Pro Rider Mobility, we are confident in the safety of all our scooters. Not only that, but we’re confident they’ll remain roadworthy for years after you buy them. That’s one of the reasons all our vehicles come with our five-star warranty. However, if “poor roadworthiness” is causing so many accidents, it seems the same cannot be said of every seller. It just goes to show the importance of buying a mobility scooter from a source you can trust and not settling for cheaper, more unsafe models.
Of course, that’s not to say that mobility scooter training shouldn’t be implemented as well. Here at Pro Rider Mobility, we support anything that ensures our drivers’ safety and helps them feel comfortable on the roads. If state-funded training can do that, who are we to argue? In the meantime, remember to improve your road safety by only buying your mobility equipment from businesses you know you can trust!
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