Category Archives: Pro Rider Mobility Announcements

Mobility Roadshow Hits the Silverstone Tarmac

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This year the annual Mobility Roadshow will be coming live later this month from the Silverstone Circuit. The Mobility Roadshow and Get Going Live! event ambassador this year is writer and sports enthusiast Henrietta Freeman from Milton Keynes. Henrietta, age 21, is wheelchair dependent and lives with an undiagnosed progressive condition.

For this year’s event, happening May 26-28, Henrietta will be joined by an elite group of dedicated volunteers who promote the events nationwide and raise awareness for organiser Mobility Choice. The event is free to attend and enjoy for people of all ages living with any form of restricted mobility.

On top of being able to check out all the new mobility aids, inventions and devices being released, visitors will also get the chance to hit the road and test drive a selection of adapted and wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVS) around the extremely famous Silverstone race circuit! The Roadshow is a ‘hands-on’ event, with opportunities to test drive adapted and converted vehicles, either as a driver or passenger.

In an interview with local press, Henrietta said: “Over the years of attending The Mobility Roadshow, I have started to become really nosey and I love finding new gadgets and inventions which can benefit me and other people with similar requirements. As a non-driver, I find the passenger test drives particularly informative as I can compare a variety of vehicles with different adaptations and accessibility options.”

Being a lifelong Liverpool Football club supporter and sports fan, Henrietta is the perfect choice for the role of ambassador this year. Her mobility issues mean she is unable to drive herself, but she does enjoy the ride. She told the press: “I travel upfront in my side entry Volkswagen Transporter Wav which is superb. Having recently lost the ability to speak and movement below my neck it allows me to lead as independent a life as possible, with help from my Canine Partner, Zebo.”

Henrietta is also keen to promote the Mobility Roadshow accessible Sports Zone this year. Having played a lot of football herself previously, as well as competing in high level athletics competitions, she understands how important sport and exercise are. As well as being a great way to get fit – they can also be great fun too!

Henrietta added: “I would encourage anyone to take up sports and think the Mobility Roadshow sports zone provides ideal opportunities for people living with disabilities to have a go.”

The Mobility Roadshow is part of registered charity ‘Mobility Choice’ that was established in February 1988, and was set up to help advance the independent mobility of disabled and older people. The charity are responsible for organising and running the Mobility Roadshow amongst other activities that help promote their cause such as setting up and facilitating driving programmes and tuition for disabled and older drivers to encourage safe driving.

The Mobility Roadshow is an annual event that was originally set up by the Department for Transport in 1983. It started off as a biennially run event, but moved to an annal event in 1999, after the Mobility Choice charity assumed responsibility for the show in 1998.

For more details on the event visit www.mobilityroadshow.co.uk

Shame As A Burglar Sells A Mobility Scooter Right After The Owners Death

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A heartless thief has been branded as shameful after he stole a mobility scooter and sold it online only a day after the victim died.

Burglar Craig Layland, 31, from Stoke-on-Trent, sold the mobility aid on the online buying and selling site Gumtree the day after the owner had died on New Year’s Day. Layland was already the subject of a suspended jail sentence for burglary when he committed this crime.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court has now handed Layland with a community order. Prosecutor Barry White said that the mobility scooter owner was a lady that had left her scooter outside of her fire damaged home in Cheadle. Unfortunately, the lady passed on New Year’s Day.

The following day Layland, along with another man, were both seen in the victims garden looking through items including a fridge freezer, before making off with the scooter. Layland pleaded guilty to theft and breach of a suspended sentence.

It was also reported that the owner of the scooter had not lived in the house since a fire had tore through the property in June, leaving the property uninhabitable.

Layland, who has 17 convictions for 58 previous offences, was reportedly working in the salvage business when the theft happened. He and another man came across the mobility scooter after seeing the boarded up house with various white goods sitting outside. Layland’s defence mitigation said it was a mistake on their part to take the scooter, but he was under the impression that this was an abandoned property, so he helped himself.

Layland was traced from his van’s registration plate, and within 24 hours of the theft the scooter had been recovered. The defendant had sold the scooter via Gumtree, but in order to get it back he had actually ended up paying twice the amount that he had originally sold it for. Layland had realised it was a mistake to take the scooter, so had made the effort to return it to the family straight away.

Judge Paul Glenn went on to deliver Layland a sentence of a 12-month community order with 120 hours unpaid work for the theft as well as 40 hours unpaid work for breaching the suspended sentence he was already under at the time of the crime.

Judge Glenn told Layland: “You had absolutely no right to be going into people’s gardens and taking any property at all without permission. It was pretty obvious to you it worked and it was valuable. That is why you sold it the same day. It is a very sad state of affairs when people take this sort of property from someone who died the previous day. You weren’t to know that. But it was a fairly brazen theft. You took some steps to ensure it was recovered so there was no financial loss.”

Judge Glenn summed up his sentence with a stark warning for Layland: “Breach the order and you go to prison. You have had your last chance.”

Layland’s accomplice in the scooter theft was also sentenced to a 12-month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work.

Mobility Scooter Parking causes issues for Disabled Lady

Jeanette Perry from Gosport was ordered to remove her mobility scooters from outside her home, despite being moved to her one-bedroom council home because it was suitable for her disability.

Her local council told Ms Perry that she cannot keep them outside her home, but instead offered her the use of a garage to store her scooters. Unfortunately, the garage is situated a mile away from her home, but Mrs Perry relies on her mobility scooters to get around.

In an interview with local press, Ms Perry said that it has made her confused and fearful of losing her home if she carries on keeping her scooters outside the property.

Since moving to her one-bedroom house earlier this year, the 58-year-old has been told by Gosport Borough Council staff that she must either move her scooters to the garage provided, or she will need to get rid of them entirely.

Following her complaint to the council, Ms Perry was told that she could keep her scooters outside her home by council chief executive Ian Lycett. However, she is still being told by different council staff members that she cannot.

In her press interview she said, ‘I am so confused and it is adding more stress to my life. First of all they said I can’t have them outside my house, then Mr Lycett sent a letter which said I could but I am still being told I am not allowed.

So worried is Ms Perry over the scooter parking issue that she has not been able to settle in properly to her new home for fear of the council re-locating her to another property. This latest house move has been her third in 18 months, something that she really does not want to go though again.

Ms Perry’s previous home was a two-bedroom property that was considered too big for her. After being shown her new one-bedroom home, the council had failed to mention having any issues with her mobility scooters. She told local press: ‘I had no idea it was going to be such a problem.

The garage that the council has offered Ms Perry is too far away for her to walk, and even then her disability would mean she wouldn’t be able to open the garage unless it was installed with an automatic door.
As well as the mobility scooter parking issues, Ms Perry has also been told that a storage box of litter-picking equipment must also be removed. Ms Perry volunteers her spare time to picking up litter in the area, but fears she will be forced to give this up if her equipment is taken away.

According to a letter sent from Gosport Council to Ms Perry, residents are not allowed to block communal areas but added the area outside her property is within its boundary and not considered communal land.

Ms Perry has been left confused over the parking issues, and is still waiting for the situation to be resolved.

Prosthetic Arm for Disabled Kids made from Lego wins Top Award in Paris

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We all know how creative Lego can be, and a prosthetic arm made from Lego that allows children to customise to suit their needs has won the grand Digital Innovation Prize at the Netexplo forum for digital technology in Paris.

Columbian designer Carlos Torres, a former intern at Lego’s Future Lab research department, created the arm to be compatible with Lego parts that can be customised with different shapes, colours and accessories. The designer wanted to help children in need of a prosthetic arm to feel less isolated, and make their disability less of a stigma or burden to them. The arm uses a combination of technology and imagination to help children overcome their handicap.

The Netexplo forum has been running for nine years, and explores innovation in digital technology via a network across 20 universities around the world. This year the event co-founder Thierry Happe said the Netexplo Observatory had identified some 2,175 digital inventions this year alone, so the Lego prosthetic arm had some stiff competition to beat, including strong contenders such as a mobile phone app that can translate the 11 official languages of South Africa, and a Japanese robot that got good enough grades in school exams to go to the University of Tokyo.

The Lego arm, officially named the IKO Creative Prosthetic System, went on to win the Grand Prix award at the digital technology summit Netexplo. The arm can fit Lego attachments, such as a remote-control digger, onto the battery-powered arm so kids can still enjoy playing in a wide variety of ways without the limitations of a regular prosthetic arm.

Creator Carlos Arturo Torres, hopes to secure investment for its development this year. He said in a press interview that he was very happy with his design, but wasn’t expecting to win the Grand Prix. While working at Lego, he came to realise how social toys can be. He hopes that his creation can help children to work together to design their own attachments.

Mr Torres estimates the prosthetic will sell for $5,000 (£3,500) with a fee of $1,000 for each 3D-printed sockets, bought as the wearer grows out of the old ones. Children’s charity Reach, said using cheaper materials in the construction of prosthetics made them far more affordable for children and easier to maintain.

Designed to be creative and fun, the customisable prosthetic arm has Lego accessories that can be added to play with, and can be customised with different colours as well as accessories, but the battery-powered prosthetic also has a functioning hand attachment too.

The new winner is in good company and is expected to go on to achieve great success, along with previous winners of the Netexplo awards include Twitter and Slack, the business messaging start-up.

Mr Torres also commented, “My idea was not to make a traditional prosthetic, but to propose a system that was flexible enough for kids to use, hack and create with by themselves and with their friends.” His design is sponsored by Lego Future Lab, whose input he said was crucial to the final product. “They really do know kids,” he went on to say about the award-winning toymaker.

The Netexplo forum organisers said the prosthetic arm shows how technology and imagination can help children overcome disabilities.

Paralysed Former Soldier Completes Seven-Hour Daredevil Challenge

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An ex-soldier defied the odds by climbing up Pendle Hill in Lancashire, dragging his wheelchair behind him in a long seven-hour challenge.

Former soldier, Kirk Mount (28), was left paralysed from the waist down after a routine operation to fix his back went wrong. However, the dad-of-two from Elizabeth Court, Padiham, refused to let his disability prevent him from doing the things he likes, and was determined to take on this challenge not only for himself, but in the hopes of inspiring other wheelchair users.

Kirk joined the Army at aged 18 and successfully served until 2012 with 40 Regiment. He needed surgery to pin cracked vertebrae in his back, but during his operation in 2014 his spinal cord was damaged and after spending another 16 hours in surgery, he was left paralysed from the waist down.

Despite his physical limitations, Kirk took on the gruelling seven-hour challenge to climb Pendle Hill, and his inspirational efforts were captured on video. The film of his astonishing feat has been viewed online more than 22,000 times, and since the event he has been inundated with messages of support from people all over the world.

After completing the challenge, Kirk explained that the climb was mainly done on his hands and knees and with the aid of two walking sticks. While he set out to challenge himself and to inspire others, he never expected the video of his feat to go viral.

In an interview with local press, Kirk Commented, “It’s amazing isn’t it for a small bloke from Burnley? It’s been shared across the pond, I’ve had messages from people in Niagara Falls and in New Zealand. People see the wheelchair, they don’t really see the person in the wheelchair and they discriminate against it. That’s why I went up Pendle dragging the wheelchair behind me. It’s a big part of my life but on the video you see me doing something, not necessarily the wheelchair.”

The determined and driven ex-Royal Artillery gunner said his mind is already on his next challenge, and with him already enjoying such activities as off-roading on Pendle Hill and wheelchair cliff diving, it is hard to know what exciting challenge this daredevil will take on next!

Kirk has proven that he is not afraid to take on a challenge, and since becoming paralysed he has still managed to master other hobbies like horse riding, archery, shooting, swimming, wood trekking and racing over beach sand dunes.

The decision to climb Pendle, where Kirk was supported by his girlfriend Lisa Holden, was made on the spur of the moment, and he said that with each step of his improvement, he will take on more challenging tasks. Pendle Hill came up in conversation, and he then decided he would get up to the top no matter what.

Kirk commented, “It was more crawling than walking and it was really slippery. I had to keep stopping for a rest. After two minutes I was ready to quit and I thought what the hell am I doing. But I carried on and I’m 100% glad I did it.”

He believes he will need a good couple of weeks of rest to recover fully from his exhausting climb, but that will give him enough time to think about what his next challenge is going to be.

Police Launch Mobility Scooter Safety Event In Manchester

Due to the alarming rise in accidents involving mobility scooters in recent years, Greater Manchester Police organised a mobility scooter awareness session on 4th December.

The session took place at Clayton Brook, and was open to anybody who already used a scooter and for those who are considering buying one.

Police officers were available all day to offer practical advice and guidance on road safety aspects of riding mobility scooters, as well as giving users practical exercises and practice sessions to inexperienced riders using scooters without the extra hazards of pedestrians and moving traffic.

According to research figures, there have been 15 reported incidents over the past five years that involved mobility scooters, five of which were fatal – four of those occurring in the past two years alone, two serious injuries and eight slight injuries.

This pilot session run by the Greater Manchester Police, was held with the hope of more being run in the future to better enable mobility scooter users keep safe on the roads and avoid accidents.

Inspector Susan Redfern from the Roads Policing Unit in Chadderton commented in a press interview with Rochdale Online: “Mobility scooters offer users a sense of freedom and while we do not want to discourage people from using them, we do want to ensure that they are used safely.

“We are finding that many mobility scooter users haven’t driven in years, if at all, and their knowledge of the Highway Code is therefore limited.

“By taking a bit of time to familiarise themselves with the rules of the road, users will have more confidence to enjoy the outside world and we can hopefully reduce the number of collisions.”

While there will always be a level of risk associated with any form of motorised transport, it is helpful that Manchester Police are trying to raise awareness of the dangers of using mobility scooters, and want to help reduce those risks by offering some common sense training to anyone considering using a scooter for the first time, as well as helping existing users become more familiar with potential hazards they may encounter while out and about on the roads.

Mobility scooters offer disabled people a great opportunity for a better quality of life, so courses like these can help scooter users become more confident while out and about, while alerting them to potential dangers, and ways to avoid accidents along the way.

Greater Manchester Police are not the only force to offer safety help and guidance for mobility scooter users. Many areas are now getting involved in raising awareness, such as Norfolk Constabulary, who in partnership with Halfords, has also launched a scheme called Safe Scoot to help raise awareness of safety issues.

Safe Scoot was launched at the Royal Norfolk Show back in 2010. It was set up as a best practice guide to running awareness courses, and even enlisted popular Benidorm actress Sheila Reid to star in a short film they made as part of the scheme.

As a result of the Norfolk Constabulary’s pilot scheme their Crime Prevention Officers are now advising the Government’s Transport Committee on how best to address mobility scooter safety issues.

Golf Course makes a U-Turn on ban regarding mobility scooters

Beverley pasture masters golf course near Hull, earlier this year placed a ban on the use of motorised vehicles on the course, including golf buggies and mobility scooters. You may remember the article we wrote on it.

However, after receiving a number of complains a consultation was held, and the ban on mobility scooters has been successfully lifted by town pasture masters on the Beverley Westwood’s golf course.

It was found that the ban had prevented several regular members from playing because they needed mobility scooters to get around. After the club had written to the members about the rule, the pasture masters who supervise the course were made aware of the issue, and made the decision to lift the ban to allow mobility scooter users back onto the course.

One local regular golfer Brian Yates, 77, was interviewed by the local press, and stated that he was delighted at the hearing the news.

A mobility scooter user himself, Mr Yates, of Lockington, told the press: “I have been using my buggy because of my heart problems over the past four-and-a-half years. I have been a member of Beverley Golf Club for quite a number of years and have a lot of friends there so I was pleased when I was told I could come back. This could help people in the future, too.”

The chairman of Beverly Pasture Masters, Allan English, has confirmed that mobility scooters would be permitted on the Westwood course, but that golf buggies would not allowed.

In an interview with local press Mr English said: “It became an issue this year because the club wanted to use golf buggies to hire them out and we said no, it was not the type of course for riding buggies. We are not discriminating against people with disabilities. Mobility scooters are allowed, but it’s up to them to be insured. They are on rough pasture when not on the fairway and it’s at their own risk.”

The popular golf course is set in stunning countryside, and the nature of the terrain as well as the presence of grazing cattle means motorised golf buggies would not be suitable on health and safety grounds.

Mr English expressed concerns that the rough terrain could hide many hazards such as rabbit holes and unexpected obstacles that cause golf buggies to tip over. The pasture masters also have to prioritise the grazing cattle, and this is why golf buggies are banned, and also why there is a 15-yard limit for vehicles in place.

Clearer rules demanded following mobility scooter incident

A 77 year old man has passed away following a collision with a vehicle in Market Harborough on Sunday.

Currently the law on mobility scooters states that some are allowed on roads and others are allowed on dual carriageways

Mobility shop owners have said changes need to be made to the current law.

Helen Walmsley, a driving instructor from Syston said “there are a number of risks involved with the vehicles being on the road
,If people suddenly come behind something that’s doing lower than 10 mph, it will cause a hazard.”

The man who was killed has not yet been named by police. No one else was injured in the collision.

An overview from the Governments own website on the laws of mobility scooters states:

You don’t need a licence to drive a mobility scooter or powered wheelchair, but you may have to register it. Only certain types can be driven on the road.

Mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs come in 2 categories:

‘class 2 invalid carriages’ – these can’t be used on the road (except where there isn’t a pavement) and have a maximum speed of 4mph
‘class 3 invalid carriages’ – these can be used on the road, and have a maximum speed of 4mph off the road, and 8mph on the road

You don’t need to register a class 2 invalid carriage.

You must register Class 3 invalid carriages.

You must be 14 or over to drive a class 3 invalid carriage.

Rules for class 3 invalid carriages

Class 3 invalid carriages must 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

You could be stopped by the police if your Class 3 invalid carriage doesn’t have these features.

Driving on the road

You can only drive on the road in a class 3 invalid carriage. The maximum speed is 8mph.

You can’t drive on bus lanes, ‘cycle only’ lanes or motorways. You should avoid using dual carriageways with a speed limit of over 50mph.

You must use an amber flashing light for visibility if you use a class 3 invalid carriage on a dual carriageway.

Road rules

You must follow the Highway Code if you drive your mobility scooter on the road.

Driving on footpaths and parking

All mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs can legally travel at a maximum of 4mph on footpaths or in pedestrian areas.

You can’t drive any type of mobility scooter or powered wheelchair on cycle paths marked ‘cycle only’.
Parking

All normal parking restrictions apply to mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs.

Your vehicle shouldn’t be left on a footpath or pedestrian area on its own if it gets in the way of other pedestrians, including wheelchair users and people with prams or pushchairs.

Eyesight requirements

There is no legal eyesight requirement to drive mobility scooters or powered wheelchairs, but you should be able to read a car’s registration number from a distance of 12.3 metres (40 feet).

You must check that you can still do this regularly.

You might have to pay compensation if you have an accident and poor eyesight was part of the cause.

Use by non-disabled people

If you are aren’t disabled, you can only drive a mobility scooter or powered wheelchair if you’re:

demonstrating the vehicle before it’s sold
training a disabled user
taking the vehicle to or from maintenance or repair

Vehicle tax, registration and insurance

You don’t have to pay vehicle tax for any mobility scooter or powered wheelchair, but you still need to register class 3 invalid carriages.

To register a class 3 invalid carriage, complete form V55/4 for new vehicles, or V55/5 for used vehicles. You can get the forms from DVLA’s online ordering service.

Send the completed form to:
DVLA Swansea
SA99 1BE

You can’t license your class 3 invalid carriage online or at a Post Office.

Include evidence of the vehicle’s age (if available).
Insurance

You don’t need insurance for a mobility scooter or powered wheelchair, although it’s recommended.

Official link to the government laws on mobility scooters
https://www.gov.uk/mobility-scooters-and-powered-wheelchairs-rules/driving-on-the-road

A drunken disabled man has been banned from his scooter

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An unconscious disabled man was found under the influence of alcohol at the wheel of his mobility scooter by a police community support officer.

Mr Yusef Khalifa 52 of Old Colwyn, Gwynedd, admitted he had polished off two bottles of wine before going out on his mobility scooter, Llandudno magistrates heard.

He admitted being in charge of a mechanically-propelled vehicle when he was three times over the drink drive limit and also admitted to having a folding knife.

He was found guilty and banned from driving any vehicle for six months.

Mr Yusef Khalifa was also handed a six-month community order, along with a fine and legal costs coming to a total of £385.

Thousands Of Mobility Scooter Miles For Ex-Soldier


49 year old veteran Mark Newton has already travelled round Wales, and set the world record for the longest distance
travelled on a mobility scooter, and he keeps on going.

Mark’s Military career came to an end after he suffered a leg injury, but now the former army tank driver
is travelling 11,000 miles around the country on a mobility scooter. His original website RoundWales.co.uk
now tracks his journey, and with his other ventures he has covered a whopping total of 17,300.24 Miles
raising £53,032.76 so far.

His current aim around the whole country is to take photos and note every military memorial in the United Kingdom,
with the money raised going to charity.

Currently he is going to be in Somerset over the next few months, with his cats in tow. His epic adventure could take
upto 10 years to complete.

You can keep track of Mark’s journey on his website RoundWales.co.uk and if you wish to donate, you can do this securely
via Virgin Money Giving. Mark is raising the money for Help For Heroes, SSAFA, The Royal British Legion and Lifeboats RNU.