Mobility scooter safety scheme rolled out across Jersey to improve users’ awareness
A new scheme has been launched in the States of Jersey to improve safety for mobility scooter users and other road users, by educating those with a mobility scooter how to use their vehicle safely.
Announced by the Jersey Government, the Mobility Scooter Scheme will enable users to access help and advice on the most suitable scooter for them to buy. They will also be taught how to drive their devices on pavements, roads and pedestrian areas.
Dave Malpas, Transport Planner for the States of Jersey, said: “Our island retailers work hard to make sure that customers choose a mobility scooter that suits them, but we’ve noticed that users aren’t always sure where to get help once they’ve bought theirs.
“The new scheme will ensure that they’re given help and advice both before they buy and afterwards.”
A leaflet and DVD have been produced about choosing and using mobility scooters, and approved retailers will give advice before and after the scooter is purchased to make sure that their customer is confident in using their scooter safely.
Shopmobility Jersey will also provide guidance about choosing and using a mobility scooter to anyone who would like assistance or who requires more support than retailers can provide.
The minister for infrastructure for the States of Jersey, Deputy Kevin Lewis, added: “We’re preparing for islanders living longer by giving them access to the information they need to be able to most effectively use mobility scooters.
“While only a small number of accidents in recent years have involved them, mobility scooters are expected to grow in number as our population’s average age increases, and the risk that they pose to all road users is therefore likely to increase. This scheme seeks to address that issue, and I welcome its introduction.”
The scheme has been developed by Growth, Housing and Environment with support from Occupational Therapy, EYECAN, Shopmobility, the States of Jersey Police, Headway and dDeaf Partnership Board.
However, mobility scooter safety schemes are no new initiative, with scooter accidents and fatalities frequently making headlines across the UK, resulting in more calls for scooter assessment and legislation.
Ray Hodgkinson MBE recently highlighted the issues with scooter safety to THIIS, emphasising that no proper scooter training exists and that users themselves need to be made aware of the dangers of using their mobility aid.
In October 2018, Oxfordshire County Council rolled out its own mobility scooter safety course to help educate locals about their mobility device and their responsibilities on the road.
The initiative came following the figures that 24 mobility scooter users had been in injured while using their device in Oxfordshire over the past five years, as well as one fatality.