OPINION: Mobility retailer states the way mobility scooters are sold needs to be addressed
Following on from the decision by the European Parliament to omit mobility scooters from requiring compulsory insurance – a measure advocated by some as a means to stem the increasing number of accidents – Kay Towers, Owner of independent Southampton-based retailer KJ’s Mobility, has shared why she believes compulsory insurance is not the answer.
By Kay Towers
I run a small mobility retails store in Hythe Hampshire. My husband and myself take people on a route that we have designed to show people how to use the mobility scooter properly and to assess if we think they will be safe enough for us to sell them a scooter.
We have on several occasions discussed with the person that we do not feel they would be safe or the public would be safe if they had a scooter, especially when we find out they have macular degeneration and have had to give up driving due to sight problems and we can tell they cannot see sufficiently not to have an accident.
We always give the usual Mark Bates three months free insurance and advise that they should take out insurance to cover both the public and themselves, most of the time people do take the insurance out.
With us being able to discuss the facts, the legal aspects/highway code and assess a person’s suitability for a mobility scooter, we hope we are giving the best service.
However, with the internet, anyone can buy a mobility scooter, even up to 8mph ones from places like Argos. They can put anything down in the medical condition and no one checks it. Anyone can buy one when they are only meant to be for a person with a recognised medical condition. They have no training, do not even know the highway code for mobility scooters and do not know how to change the speed from 8mph to 4mph for the pavement.
I feel that more needs to be done to stop any company being able to sell a mobility scooter without any assessment or training. Having insurance will not stop people having accidents, it will just cover them if they do. It is the selling of the mobility scooters that needs to be addressed properly.
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