Scooter worries

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The two front-page articles about mobility scooters in the Observer last week raise a number of problems.

I don’t wish to comment on the incidents reported but it does seem an opportune moment to raise worries that I’ve had for some time.

While I would agree there is a need for those who are disabled or finding difficulty in walking to be able to get about more easily by using mechanically-propelled vehicles, I am very concerned the drivers of mobility scooters are not required to take a test or be covered by insurance.

Living in Rose Green I see many mobility scooters being used, and most of them very responsibly by careful operators.

However, there are a few who appear to see it as their right to travel on any surface, road, footpath, grass verge and even the playing field, and cross roads at any point most suitable to them regardless of traffic lights and crossing points.

I’ve even seen children and dogs being carried as passengers!

These less-responsible operators give the impression pedestrians, with or without walking sticks or zimmer frames, cyclists and drivers, should give way to them.

What is the legal and financial situation if a person is injured by a careless mobility scooter operator or a properly-taxed and insured vehicle is damaged?

Who pays for the repair of damage caused?

Can a mobility scooter operator be charged with dangerous or careless driving?

If there is no insurance cover, would a civil action be needed to prove who was at fault and recover costs in the event of a problem?

Can anyone drive a mobility scooter regardless of age and/or infirmity, including children?

I feel the answers should be available because I may soon need one myself!

David Coward

Nyetimber Lane, Bognor Regis