Mobility scooter lessons welcomed

Bryan Hobson, who uses his scooter to visit mum Ann, has welcomed safety courses.
Bryan Hobson, who uses his scooter to visit mum Ann, has welcomed safety courses.
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ROAD safety courses for mobility scooters are being introduced to help prevent accidents and the misuse of vehicles.

The mobility aids, which have a top speed of 10mph, can be used on roads or the streets by people of all ages.

Safety fears about the misuse of mobility scooters were raised in Blackpool when Rita Killoran, 54, was banned from the road for two years.

Ms Killoran was stopped by police when she was found riding her scooter while drunk and with a passenger in Cocker Street, Blackpool, in October last year.

Such incidents have led to the police organising the lessons, which have been backed by residents with scooters and campaigners.

The courses are initially being trailed in South Yorkshire to include a free two-hour session on a life-size set to allow users to hone their skills.

Bryan Hobson, 40, from Warren Drive, Anchorsholme, frequently uses his scooter to visit his mother or meet with friends.

He said: “I would support it and I think I would benefit from what the police could do.

“People using scooters have got to be aware of what is going on around them.

“Drivers give me plenty of space when I’m on the roads and I let them out.

“If you have an understanding with drivers then you are going to be fine.”

Coun Kath Rowson, cabinet member for adult social care at Blackpool Council, has called for a Highway Code to be introduced to assist people who own a mobility scooter.

She added: “A lot of people have been asking for a Highway Code because the scooters are only going to become more sophisticated and faster.

“The problem with the vast majority of riders is nobody has shown them how to handle their scooters.

“It’s difficult to know what to do because there is going to be a lot more of them, but I wouldn’t like to see them all on roads.”

A spokeswoman for Mobility 2000, which has shops in Blackpool, Cleveleys and Fleetwood, added: “We make sure we assess the owner of a scooter before we sell anything. It could work on a national scale, but we have confidence in the tests we do.”