mobility scooter training

Local volunteer group Horsham Scooter Safety is to recommence providing safety training to local mobility scooter and powered wheelchair drivers after a short hiatus.

The project was conceived by Horsham District Older Peoples Forum and Horsham Town Community Partnership and started in May 2018 to help raise rider proficiency but was put on hold recently due to bad weather.

The initiative aims to curb the rising number of accidents and fatalities involving mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs, with logged scooter accidents rising by 5.5 per cent in 2018 to 249 – 13 were fatal.

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Delivered in association with Age UK Horsham District, Horsham District Council and Clearwell Mobility, the free 90-minute Skills & Safety sessions take place in Horsham on Wednesday afternoons.

Aiming to provide drivers with the skills needed to operate their devices safely, the sessions cover the laws that apply to powered mobility vehicles, what users should do in an emergency, as well as other day-to-day activities such as how to safely carry shopping.

Sessions include participants spending one-to-one time with scooter tutors who escort riders on a pavement tour to provide real-world advice about how to negotiate and navigate everyday obstructions.

Additionally, Horsham Scooter Safety is able to provide scooters to those wanting to take part who may be considering purchasing a device for the first time.

Speaking with local newspaper West Sussex County Times, volunteer scooter tutor Tony Ediss said: “Even experienced scooter drivers benefit from a safety session as it is easy to fall into bad driving habits and a reminder of better ways could help avoid an accident.

“Reports of scooter accidents regularly appear in the newspapers and we know that with a bit more care, most could have been avoided.”

Horsham Scooter Safety recommends that all local scooter users complete a session with the volunteer group to enhance their safety and proficiency before purchasing a mobility scooter.

Participants that complete the course are given a copy useful safety information and guidelines, a certificate and a high-visibility vest.

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