Government should look at regulation of mobility scooters

There was a crash on the M27 this morning

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Mobility scooters are an essential mode of transport for those with disabilities, or the elderly who struggle to walk far.

They provide a hugely important means of independence to many.

But, as with any form of transport, they can be dangerous in the wrong hands.

Today we report how a couple from Copnor were knocked down by a reckless rider while on a pedestrian crossing.

The news comes as fresh figures reveal that Portsmouth tops the list nationally for the most accidents involving mobility scooters that were reported to police.

Statistics nationally show the deadly consequences that irresponsible use of these machines can have – with eight riders being killed in the UK in the past 12 months.

Yes, in the grand scheme of things, this is a low figure compared to the estimated 350,000 people in Britain who own a mobility scooter.

But nonetheless it should still be a concern – particularly when there are no real regulations covering who can own one.

So The News today backs the calls of Douglas and Hilary Laver for the government to consider tighter restrictions.

When Mr Laver was hit, he was knocked to the floor and left with bruises and cuts.

Thankully, he escaped with relatively minor injuries. However, they could very easily have been much more severe.

The sad fact of the matter is that with a rising ageing population, more and more people in the UK may come to rely on mobility scooters to get around.

So it is time for the government to look into overseeing the purchase of these vehicles, along with a basic competency test.

At the very least, people owning and using scooters should heed the advice of Simon Kelly from Solent Mobility to have public liability insurance.