Minister appears before mobility scooter inquiry
03 March 2010
Sadiq Khan MP, Minister of State for Transport is among the witnesses appearing before the Transport Committee as it holds an oral evidence session for its inquiry into mobility scooters. Watch live from 2.45 pm
- Age Concern/Help the Aged
- Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DIPTAC)
- Disability Essex
- Norfolk Constabulary
- Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA)
- Living Streets
- RAC Foundation
- Arriva UK Bus
- Sadiq Khan MP, Minister of State, Department for Transport
Mobility scooters (defined in law as 'invalid carriages') are becoming increasingly common. Depending on its class, a mobility scooter may be used on pavements at up to four miles per hour (mph) or on the road at up to eight mph. There is no legal requirement to undertake training or to pass a test before using one.
The interaction of mobility scooters with pedestrians and other road users has given rise to a number of issues. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has received calls from people concerned about being nearly knocked down by mobility scooters.
Bus drivers have reported being delayed by mobility scooters in bus lanes. The press have also highlighted incidents. Some charities, on the other hand, have suggested that the frequency of such incidents are exaggerated and are largely a media creation.
The Committee has previously recommended that the Government urgently review the increasing use and safety of mobility scooters with a view to establishing whether safety guidelines or mandatory training would be beneficial.
Research published by the Department for Transport in 2006 suggested that overall mobility scooters did not have a significant impact upon road safety. However, the Department has subsequently acknowledged that the numbers of mobility scooters are on the increase and there is a need to review issues such as safety guidelines.
The Transport Committee inquiry is examining the following issues:
Is the current legal position clear with regard to mobility scooters and pedestrian use of space?
Does the current situation protect both pedestrians and other road users?
Does an increase in mobility scooter use and a greater variety of similar non-standard vehicles mean that new legislation and guidance is needed?
What evidence is there about the safety of pedestrians and mobility scooters and similar non-standard vehicles sharing space?
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