A disabled charity in Essex has welcomed calls to consider a mobility scooter driving test.Has he, indeed?
Richard Boyd, chairman of Disability Essex, said he was glad a group of MPs looking into the safety around mobility scooters said a fit-to-drive test had to be considered.Really?
Well, he’d know, I suppose. Being ‘in the business’, so to speak…
Mr Boyd said: “This is long overdue and we have been pointing out the dangers since 2004. The number of accidents is under reported.Hmmm, I’m starting to get a bad feeling about this…
“These are wonderful devices that liberate people and give them the freedom and dignity they deserve. But the problem is it’s unregulated and anybody can buy and sell them.”
Other actions Mr Boyd said were necessary were to make sure mobility scooters were covered by insurance policies, and regular checks of the vehicles’ road worthiness.And who, I wonder, would do this?
Well, if you check out his website, you’ll get a bit of a clue:
Safety first for mobility scooters‘Qualified registered charities’, eh? Well, how fortunate for Mr Boyd that he runs one!
Disability Essex remains concerned at lack of regulation for users of mobility scooters. Following a recent accident in the Southend area, Chief Executive Richard Boyd reflected that this was not an uncommon event.
‘The current regulations, or to be more exact, the chaos of lack of cohesive regulation, have featured in the media for many years.
Many scooter drivers carry no specific insurance, are not tested before they drive and the vehicles are subject to no regular checks.
We have suggested to the Government some simple cost effective solutions:
The result would be safer drivers, safer pedestrians, better equipment, and a quality service provided by the voluntary sector at a fraction of the cost of further Government administration.’
- All scooters should be registered (in actual fact some classes are required to register with Swansea but no-one enforces it).
- All drivers should have a permit to drive and the testing should be done by qualified registered charities.
- All drivers should carry insurance, not just for themselves, but for the people who may be injured by them.
- Scooters should be checked by qualified registered charities.
Printed in the Southend Standard, 2.5.07
Now, maybe I’m being, to coin a phrase, uncharitable, but why, exactly, should we pay attention to someone who is lobbying the government to introduce legislation that his own organisation would benefit from?
Has Mr Boyd actually considered the needs and desires of the people he claims to represent? Or is he simply hoping to add to the list of training courses (with eye-watering prices) his organisation offers?
There’s a tendency for people to view charity spokesmen as fearless guardians, speaking up for the powerless. These days, it seems they have the same sort of relationship to their audience as a farmer has to his cattle…..