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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
why do the drivers of these godforsaken things find it nescessary to drive on the road when they have a perfectly adequate pavement:rolleyes:
i know these people need to get about just like anyone else, but surely they could be a little more considerate to other road users, if the ploice see a teenager on a skateboard or electric fun bike they give them a right old earbashing and probably confiscate the offending vehicle.
but it seems ok for the elderly/disabled to ram into things and bring chaos to wherever they go:mad:
 

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These things are dangerous :eek: in the Netherlands you can drive them without a permit, as long as you are above 16 years old. These things are one of the reasons (just like normal scooters) why I don't like it to drive in the city. You can impossible expect what they are going to do.
 

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I would guess it would be illegal for them to drive along the pavement. Aren't they classed as a proper vehicle, with tax disc etc?
 

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hope you never find yourself disabled with a mobility scooter as your only means of leaving your house.... knowing an MS sufferer who only 5 years ago used to enjoy long walks in the country side, driving and the general outdoors and can nowadays barely walk I can tell you most of the time they don't want to be in the road anymore than you want them to be - one day try to get from one point to another by pavement on something that cannot climb up a normal kerb, it won't be long before you find yourself stuck in the road.....

and anyway most of them are road legal........
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
djstanley, i can sympathise with your thoughts/comments, i know there are genuine cases out there and people need these things to get about. but surely if someone was on the pavement and one was just driving without any thought for other pedestrians etc shouldnt it be common courtesy to slow down and try avoid hitting people and giving them funny looks and the likes.
and as for them driving on the road.... thats just asking for trouble and an accident waiting to happen.
do the people driving them get any sort of training? im not saying they have to be the next stirling moss, but maybe a bit of education wouldnt go amiss !

if anyone else is offended by my rant, then i apologise. but i just wanted to express my thoughts on this subject.
 

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The only reference I can make is with regard to Disabled Service Men who come in wheelchairs to the odd re-union. Ex war vets. Most ,not all granted, are good humoured about their misfortune. Don't let it get them down in the main, and are mostly cheerful. In fact some of them make jokes about their various modes of transport. You know the sort of thing, "Want to save me batteries so can you get the next round in at the bar boys?" We know them of course and say " He's at it again" looking at one another with smiles, no offence is taken,all lighthearted stuff. Fail to see how the comments or film clip for that matter ,or anything else was that outrageous, but if some were upset, so be it. In fact, one old cantankerous person that I know, is downright dangerous the way he careers around on his electric projectile. Not Ex Service to my knowledge. Takes all sorts to make a world.
 

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My brother uses one, & all his routes have to be meticulously planned around whether or not there are "dropped kerbs" & ramps available. Also, rubbish collection day is a pain in the arse to him, as the big wheelie-bins frequently block the pavement. Although he prefers using cycle paths/pavements etc, sometimes the road is the only way.
When he moved to a new area, I cycled out with him to map all the routes he would most often need.
No offence taken, its just one of those things that some people are fortunate enough NOT to have any experience of (yet).
Matt.
 

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I think it's good that we can express opinions one to the other. From that which I have observed in other countries, we are perhaps not the best in providing for disabled persons. So there is room for improvement on all fronts. I am always impressed when I see the provisions made for cyclists etc; in other places.Over here it's often just a traffic circus,how to sort it? not the foggiest! Cheers Matt.
 

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It was mobility scooters that convinced me to give up smoking, no patches gum or acupuncture, I just didn't want to ride around on one of those things due to bad blood circulation. As far as I'm concerned they can drive where they like, they did me a favour
 
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I have some experience of these things through my dad who had one of the four-wheeled versions for about eight years.

About the machines.
The best of them can get up small kerbs if the wheels are large enough. They can go faster in reverse than I can comfortably walk. They have a narrow track and with a not-so-overweight driver are not very stable in corners (see below). They might or might not be road legal - don't know, but they definitely do not require a tax disc, are not subjected to any compulsory safety inspection or compulsory third party insurance. They are not built to the kind of standard that is appropriate for a vehicle that is not a toy.

About the drivers.
Their competence, both mental and physical, varies enormously.

To take my dad as an example, he never drove a car or motorcycle in his life although he had ridden a bicycle in his younger days. As a result he had little concept of speed and no common sense at cornering in a four wheeled vehicle. This generally meant that he went far too fast over uneven surfaces, risked overturning on cornering and on climbing kerbs and presented a hazard for people and property on the pavement (he never went intentionall alonfg the road, AFAIK). I used to joke with the locals that people would jump into the A35 for safety when they saw him coming and fact is that this was not so very far from the truth.

On one occasion, about a year before his death last year, he was proceeding down the pavement along the A35 in Southampton. At a narrowing of the pavement (due as it happens to the pavement having been dug up), he came off the kerb and was catapulted into the main road. At 7pm it was fortunately not at its busiest and by pure good fortune, there was nothing on the road so close that couldn't it pull up easily. He was got up by a passing driver (thank you), dusted off etc., but refused to go to hospital at the time although I did force the issue when I learned of the incident later in the day. His sense of spatial awareness was already poor as the various scuffs and bangs around the edges of the machine would have shown.

Drivers have no compulsory assement of their competence to drive - for many of the oldest generation, this may be their first experience of powered transport.

Comment.
A machine of this type is capable of causing serious injury if in an unsafe condition or if driven poorly. I think this much is obvious.

I would therefore argue that whatever a person's disability or claimed "rights", there is an overriding issue of the safety of the driver and of others. There is also the issue of damage to property to consider.

Whether to drive on the road or on the pavement doesn't really take too much to work out. These vehicles are not fast enough to drive on the road and the edge of the road adjacent to the kerb is very often too uneven for them to negotiate safely. Conforming to the usual rules of the road is not realistic: they need to be on the pavement.

I think that the authority to drive on of these things should be the subject of a compulsory test of fitness to drive with a periodical review beyond a certain age.

The machines should carry compulsory insurance and be subjected to a safety inspection in the same way as an MoT.

There is no "right" to mobility. Sometimes it's just the way things are and no it's not fair. What we do have however is a responsibility to do what we reasonably can to improve the mobility of those who need it. There is also a responsibility to ensure that whatever we do on this does not compromise what I would judge to be greater responsibility towards the safety of other people.

Should my dad have been driving? No. Not even when he first got the thing. I tried to resist this but at the time both parents were alive and my view didn't count (never really did anyway where dad was concerned). Statutory regulation and a fitness to drive test would have taken care of the matter. After his accident, I just took it away. Don't really know how I could have done this earlier - maybe I should just have been more forceful. Either way it doesn't matter now.

Postscipt.
If anybody feels the need to respond to this, and wants to use my dad as an example, please feel fee to do so. I know that I will not be offended if the comment is critical. Despite his fairly recent death (Jan 06), this kind of thing does not upset me, promise.
 
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