23. Using a mobility scooter safely
There are two categories of mobility scooters:
Class 2 – powered wheelchairs and scooters.
These are only suitable for pavements or footpaths and have a top speed of 4 mph. Do not have to be registered with the DVLA
Class 3 – powered wheelchairs and other outdoor powered vehicles, including scooters. These are suitable for riding on roads with a top speed of 8 mph. A class 3 vehicle is not legally defined as a vehicle and the user does not need a driving license or take a driving test. This vehicle has to be registered with DVLA. It must be licensed in the disabled taxation class and display a free disabled tax disc.
- Make sure you have been fully trained on how to operate your scooter before you operate it on the roads.
- Ensure it is properly maintained in line with manufacturer guidelines.
- Keep the battery fully charged and ensure you know how far your scooter will travel on the battery power available. Bear in mind that cold weather, rough surfaces and travelling uphill will use up battery power.
- You are not required by law to insure the vehicle but it is strongly advisable to do so.
- Always keep the speed reduced when in busy or confined areas.
- Pavements are safer than roads and should be used when available. You should give pedestrians priority and show consideration for other pavement users, particularly as those with a hearing or visual impairment who may not know you are there.
- When moving from the pavement to the road, take special care. Before moving off, always look round and make sure it is safe to join the traffic. Always use dropped kerbs to move off the pavement.
- Be courteous and show consideration for other users of the town/city/shopping centre. Remember that pedestrians often stop suddenly and you may not be able to stop as quickly, so reduce your speed and keep your distance.
- Reduce your speed when cornering.
- When leaving the vehicle unattended, always take the key with you and try to leave it where it won't inconvenience others.
- Use dropped kerbs whenever possible and when climbing kerbs approach them at right angles.
- Be aware of the size of the vehicle and do not manoeuvre it into too small confined spaces.
For more information on using a mobility scooter, please refer to the publication ‘A Highway Code for Mobility Scooter Users’. Please contact DIB for your copy.
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