East Riding Council has decided to lobby the Government for compulsory registration and better training with scooters.Oh, great! Here we go again…
Still, maybe I’m being too cynical. Perhaps there’s been a rash of mobility scooter deaths?
There have been two deaths involving the vehicles since 2009 and eight less-serious crashes.Oh. OK. Guess not, then.
Deaths and injuries, when they do occur, mostly occur to the drivers anyway, and the example chosen for illustrative purposes is a classic one:
Sheila Bathgate, 76, was killed when her scooter toppled over in Bridlington. As she left a hairdressers, she started to go much faster than usual and headed towards a parked car. She turned sharply to avoid it and her scooter fell over.Which sounds like ‘driver error’. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but tests, licensing, registration and insurance for cars hasn’t completely eliminated this yet, has it?
So why think it’ll work with mobility scooters?
Of course, the ‘Something must be done!’ crowd are in enthusiastic mode:
Although there is a voluntary registration scheme for scooters, the council would like to see them all registered by law.
Mr Wilkinson said: "We're a little bit concerned some of the larger ones might be driven a little bit quickly.
"We feel larger ones should be insured and when they're sold customers should at least be given a training booklet."Which, it’s pointed out by the BHTA, already happens:
A spokeswoman for the BHTA said: "If scooter drivers are on the pavement they're supposed to switch down to the lower speeds and clearly that's the users' responsibility.
"Anyone buying a scooter from a really reputable trader will be offered training. "It would be quite a complication to put a compulsory training programme together."Not so! There are people champing at the bit to take it on. They will, after all, profit from it handsomely.
She said rules governing scooters were written in the Highway Code. The spokeswoman said: "If people have any doubt about their ability to use a vehicle, they should contact a retailer for a training session".Leave it up to the user?!? Are you mad!?