Mobility Scooters and the Law
In 2016, 14 people died as a result of mobility scooter accidents – an enormous increase compared to the one death reported just five years previously.
As a result, it’s essential that you inform yourself on the rules and regulations for mobility scooters to ensure you and those around you stay safe when you are driving. Below, we’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions on mobility scooter law and what you need to know.
Who Can Drive a Mobility Scooter?
You can drive a mobility scooter only if you have a physical disability, or limited mobility because of an injury or medical condition. The only exceptions are if you are demonstrating a mobility scooter before it is sold, taking the scooter to or from repairs, or if you are training a disabled user to use the vehicle.
What Age Do I Need to Be to Drive a Mobility Scooter?
To drive a class 3 invalid carriage (see below) you must be at least 14 years old.
Powered Wheelchairs and Mobility Scooters: What’s the Difference?
- Wheelchairs, powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters are considered ‘Invalid Carriages’ by law. Each is in its own class. Manual wheelchairs (Class1) and powered wheelchairs with an upper speed limit of 4mph (Class 2) are designed for use on footways or pavements, while powered mobility scooters (Class 3) have an upper speed of 8mph and are equipped to be used on the road as well as the pavements and footways.
- As a driver of any of the different classes of mobility scooters or Invalid Carriages, you’re required to obey the rules for other motor vehicles when you’re using the road. When you’re using the pavements or footpaths, the same rules which apply to pedestrians apply to you.
Driving on Pavements
- Pavements provide better safety than roads and should be used whenever possible. Pedestrians have priority and you must be considerate of other pavement users, especially those who may have visual or hearing impairments and might not be aware that you’re there.
- You are legally required to travel at a speed of 4mph or less on pavements and in pedestrian areas. You should go even slower if the pavements are busy or narrow.
- According to Law UICHR 1988 reg 4, you have to obey the same rules as all other drivers or pedestrians so when you move from the pavement onto the road you are to ensure there are no obstructions or obstacles and that it is safe to do so. Look left, right and left again before crossing roads.
Driving on Roads
Class 3 mobility scooters may be driven on the roads, but they must meet certain requirements. These include:
- A maximum unladen weight of 150kg
- A max-width of 0.85 metres
- A working braking system, front and rear lights and reflectors
- An audible horn
- A rear view mirror
- An amber flashing light (if using on a dual carriageway)
Do I Need Insurance?
Mobility scooter insurance is not a legal requirement currently, but it is strongly recommended. Mobility scooter repairs can be extremely costly, so protecting yourself now is wise.
Surewise.com offer mobility scooter insurance with cover for accidents, theft, puncture repairs, recovery and more for as little as £4.40 per month. Get your quote here and give yourself the peace of mind that you’re covered against the unexpected when using your mobility scooter.