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Environment : Road Safety Last Updated: 2, Apr 2018 - 10:02

Road Safety Guidelines for Drivers of Mobility Scooters
By Noel Gibbons
5, Feb 2017 - 09:21

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They are hardly what you might call the proverbial boy racer, with more than a quarter of a million mobility scooters on British roads and with the number of them here in Ireland growing every year.

But despite having a top speed of just 8mph, one local authority has become so concerned about the potential for accidents involving mobility scooter drivers, they have produced guidelines for the operators. Presently, operators of these vehicles are exempt from road traffic rules - they do not need to take a driving test or have a license to use a scooter. There is also no legal requirement for insurance.

Mayo County Council said that in the last number of years there have been incidents across the county involving mobility scooters and other road users.

More than 60 people have died from mobility scooter accidents in Australia, while there are also numerous reports of tragedies involving the vehicles from other countries.

Mobility scooter on motorway

Noel Gibbons Road safety Officer said: 'The aim of the project is to help people with mobility issues to maintain their independence whilst enhancing their own safety and confidence on our roads and other public areas, mobility scooters are essential lifelines.'

'These guidelines have provided a great opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of mobility scooter safety.'

"Safety is everyone's responsibility from pedestrian, cyclist, vehicle user to those who use mobility scooters. We all have a duty to stay safe. I would encourage mobility scooter users to avail of these information leaflets, especially those who may never have driven a vehicle or ridden a cycle. Our pedestrian areas and roads are increasingly busy and we all need our wits about us."

'With an increasing ageing population, some action has to be taken to ensure that standards are maintained in terms of the safety of these vehicles and that some basic training is undertaken by all users.

'It's important that when they're sold to people who've never driven them before get proper information on these vehicles.''

"We want people with disabilities to be as mobile as possible and enjoy going out and about on their scooters, but we also want them to be safe. This campaign is an excellent way to make sure disabled people know how to use their scooter safely."

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