Using a mobility scooter is a great way to stay independent and keep active out and about. They are becoming more popular as people realise the benefits of using the vehicles to carry out day-to-day tasks, visit friends and family and retain their freedom. The chances are that you know someone who uses one or is considering becoming a user in the near future, or perhaps you are a user yourself.
• Seek professional advice before making a purchase to ensure that the mobility scooter meets your individual needs and requirements.
• Understand what all the switches and levers on your scooter do, and be confident that you can control it properly before you go outside on it for the first time.
• Keep your scooter properly maintained and have it thoroughly checked. The manufacturer’s handbook will tell you how often to do this.
• Make sure your battery is kept fully charged. If you are storing the vehicle for long periods without use make sure the battery is recharged at least once a month.
• Keep your personal possessions safe and secure and your valuables out of sight.
• Do not overload your scooter with shopping or other goods or hand anything from the handlebars as this could make the scooter unstable and more difficult to control.
• Pedestrians have the right of way. If you are riding on a pavement or footpath, give way to pedestrians. The top speed allowed is 4mph and even this may be too fast where there are pedestrians.
• To drive on the road you need a vehicle (Class 3) that can travel at 8mph (12 km/h) or (Class 2) if there is no alternative. It must also have headlights, rear lights, flashing indicators and a horn.
• When you are on the road you should obey the guidance and rules for other vehicles – The Highway Code. When on the pavement you should follow the guidance and rules for pedestrians. Mobility scooters are called Invalid Carriages in law.
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