Thousands of the disabled and elderly people using mobility scooters across Warrington could be unknowingly breaking road rules.
A report from the Transport Department has found out that many mobility scooter suppliers, including the NHS, don’t advice people on the registration, legal requirements and basic road laws that comes with their the scooter’s usage on the road.
The fact that users of these vehicles don’t need to e licensed to drive them on roads makes it easier for them to accidentally flaunt road rules. However, mobility scooters must be registered to be used on roads and only certain types of such vehicles are allowed to use roads with other vehicles. Here are undisputed guide to mobility scooter road laws.
The UK’s Highway Code, rules 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46 and 47 guides mobility scooters users on things to do and not to do while using roads.
Since your machine is allowed to travel at 12km/h (8mph), you need to be careful when travelling on the road because you’re likely to be moving slower than the rest of the traffic.
Rule 42 While on the road, a class 3 mobility scooter should keep travelling in the same direction with the rest of the traffic. Class 2 users, on another hand, should stay on the pavement. In case a pavement isn’t available, consider using the road with great caution. Class 2 users too are required to travel in the direction of the traffic. You MUST use your lights at night while travelling.
You need to be extra cautious at road junctions. When travelling straight ahead, look sideways to ensure that no other vehicle is about to cross your way from right, left or overtaking your scooter and turning left. You have an array of options to deal with right turns particularly when turning from a highway or a major road. In case moving to the middle is dangerous or difficult, consider
l Stopping on the left edge of the road and waiting for a gap to form in the traffic
l Negotiating the turn like a pedestrian i.e. travelling along the pavements and crossing the road between two pavements during the safe moment. If you are using a class 3 scooter, consider switching your vehicle to low speed limit when travelling on the pavements
Junctions are too hazardous so consider taking an alternative route. Instead, consider using the pavement to get a route that avoids the roundabout if you are negotiating major roundabouts such as those with 2 or more lanes.
Observe the normal parking restrictions. Do not leave your scooter unattended in areas where it can cause obstruction to pedestrians and other vehicles.
You MUST NOT travel on motorways. Do not use your scooter on the busy unrestricted dual carriageways whose speed limit exceeds 80 km/h (50mph). If it is necessary to use such dual carriageways, you must flash an amber beacon.
Wear a reflective jacket when travelling at night to be more visible to other road users and avoid accidents.