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Mobility Scooters and Powered Wheelchairs – is it time for a change in Legislation?

With more and more people using mobility scooters, the time for a change in the current legislation must surely now have arrived, both in terms of usage and insurance. Should mobility scooters be restricted to use on footpaths, roads, or both?   What about use indoors such as supermarkets and shopping centres?  Should liability insurance be mandatory?  What does the law say?

Mobility scooters are classed as “invalid carriages” by law

You do not need a licence to drive a mobility scooter or powered wheelchair but you may have to register it.  Only certain types can be driven on the road.

Mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs come in 2 categories:

  • “class 2 invalid carriages” –  these cannot be used on the road (except for when there is no pavement) and have a maximum speed of 4mph
  • “class 3 invalid carriages” –  these can be used on the road and have a maximum speed of 4mph off the road and 8mph on the road.

You do not need to register a class 2 invalid carriage, however you must register a class 3 invalid carriage.

Whilst there may be speed restrictions in place, all too often we see mobility scooters speeding past pedestrians on footpaths with seemingly little or no regard for their safety and it seems that those restrictions are not actively enforced nor indeed enforced at all.

Insurance requirements

Liability insurance for mobility scooter users is recommended but is not mandatory and indeed many users do not have such insurance.  So what happens if you are injured by a mobility scooter user?

These are heavy, solid machines capable of inflicting significant injury to innocent and unsuspecting pedestrians.

If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident with a mobility scooter and sustain injury and the user of the scooter does not have insurance it will be very difficult to pursue a claim for compensation.  Whilst a claim can still be submitted, if there is no insurance in place to pay out any compensation this leaves a potentially seriously injured victim with no compensation.

However always seek advice.  We are here to help if we can. Contact one of our experienced personal injury lawyers here at Hudgell Solicitors

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