mobility scooter accidents insurance compulsory EU europe

The family of a 92-year-old grandmother who suffered serious injuries after being struck by a mobility scooter is now promoting a petition to review the rules governing the ownership and use of mobility scooters.

Irmgard Wicken, a retired dental nurse, was left in what her daughter describes as immense pain after a mobility scooter hit her from behind whilst shopping on Feltham’s high street on the 6th August.

The incident left Mrs Wicken with a shattered wrist and broken leg.

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The unidentified rider of the scooter checked on Mrs Wicken immediately after the accident, however, reports suggest he left when other witnesses came to the pensioner’s aid.

With police classing the incident as an accident, the family is now considering pursuing legal action against the scooter rider if they can identify him.

Following the accident, Mrs Wicken’s daughter Rita Porter is promoting a petition calling for the Government to review the laws and legislation surrounding mobility scooters and liability.

The petition was created by 28-year-old Thomas Roden, the grandson of an 87-year-old woman who was hit by a mobility scooter in Plymouth back in July 2019, causing serious injuries.

Aiming ‘to review the regulations surrounding Mobility Scooter usage and liability,’ the petition’s description says: ‘Currently in the UK, there is no legal requirement to have insurance or training to own/operate a mobility scooter.

‘There is no identification of a mobility scooter/driver if an accident is caused, removing all liability. The aim is to prevent future incidents involving mobility scooters occurring.’

Increasingly, reports of mobility scooter accidents have been making headlines, fuelled by the rising number of scooters in circulation as the popularity and accessibility of the devices continues to grow.

The mounting safety concerns for both users of mobility scooters and the general public has resulted in various areas of the mobility industry looking for ways to help tackle the problem.

Mobility retailers and suppliers have organised free-to-attend scooter safety training initiatives alongside local police forces, whereas some have called for compulsory insurance for users and formal assessment qualifications for the selling of the devices.

In March 2019, Nottingham Trent University released a new training tool for mobility scooter users to highlight and handle hazards and in February 2019, mobility retailer and innovator Mark Mobility’s Mark Davies launched a bumper stop designed to stop a scooter immediately on impact, minimising damage and dragging in the event of an accident.

Many in the industry however suggest compulsory insurance would increase prices, creating being a barrier to many that rely on their scooters for their independence, whilst others note that a growing second-hand market would make the introduction of assessment qualifications ineffective for tackling the issue.

Officially classed as either class 2 or class 3 invalid carriages, mobility scooter insurance, training or assessments are not compulsory, despite class 3 mobility scooters being legally required to be registered with the DVLA for road use.

For class 3 mobility scooter users wishing to exceed more than 4mph, the scooter must be used on the road alongside other motor vehicles and is also permitted to travel on dual carriageways.

Running until the 31st January 2020, the petition has currently received over 300 signatures. Should the petition reach 10,000, the Government will be required to respond and at 100,000, the petition will be considered for debate in Parliament.

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