User Guide for Mobility Scooters

User Guide for Mobility Scooters
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Mobility Scooters
User Guide
There has been a dramatic rise in the use of mobility
scooters across East Lothian. This user guide has
been produced to give guidance on the safe
use of scooters and to raise awareness
regarding the safety of other
pedestrians and road users.
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Scooter Types
Where can Scooters be used?
There are three types of scooters defined
in 'The Use of Invalid Carriages on Highways
Regulations 1988':
Class 2 and 3 scooters can be used on footpaths,
pavements, bridleways and pedestrian areas at a
maximum speed of 4 mph.
Class 1 manual wheelchair, i.e. self-propelled or
Class 3 scooters can also be used on most roads at
a maximum speed of 8 mph, however they cannot
be used on motorways, cycle lanes or in bus lanes
(when in operation). Nor is it advisable to use them
on unrestricted dual carriageways (If they are
4-wheeled vehicles being used on an unrestricted
dual carriageway, they must use display an amber
flashing light).
attendant-propelled, not electrically powered;
Class 2 powered wheelchairs and scooters, for footway use only with a maximum speed limit of 4 mph;
Class 3 powered wheelchairs, and other outdoor
powered vehicles, including scooters, for use on
roads/highways with a maximum speed limit of 8
mph and facility to travel at 4 mph on footways.
Prior to purchasing a scooter seek professional
advice from a reputable dealer to ensure the scooter
meets your needs. Consider any medical issues that
may affect your use of a scooter and if in doubt
consult your doctor.
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What are the legal requirements?
A Class 3 vehicle is not legally defined as a motor
vehicle and, therefore, the user is not required to
have a driving licence or to take a test.
The vehicles themselves are not subject to Vehicle
Excise Duty ('road tax'), however they should be
registered with DVLA and display a nil duty tax disc.
Although it is not a legal requirement, an insurance
policy is strongly advised and suitable schemes
are available to cover your personal safety, other
people's safety and the value of the vehicle.
Class 3 vehicles can only be used by a disabled
person aged 14 or over, or by an able-bodied person
who is demonstrating a vehicle before sale, training
a disabled user or taking the vehicle to or from
a place for maintenance or repair.
Although there is no legal eyesight requirement, you
should be able to read a car's registration number
from a distance of 12.3 metres (40 ft). It is essential
that you monitor your ability to do this regularly
throughout your time as a Class 3 vehicle user.
Class 3 vehicles should not be used if you are under
the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication that
may affect your driving ability. If you are in any
doubt, consult your doctor.
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How should I prepare myself for the road?
If you are using a powered vehicle for the first time,
or if it’s a while since you have driven on the road,
you are strongly advised to get some training.
Always go to an approved supplier. If you are in
doubt about a supplier contact the British Healthcare
Trades Association (www.bhta.net) for advice.
Familiarise yourself with
the current edition
of the Highway Code.
Wear high visibility
clothing during the day
and something reflective
at night. This will help others
to see you in daylight or poor
visibility. If the vehicle has a lap belt fitted to it,
always use it - even for short journeys.
As a general rule, plan your journeys carefully. This
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way, you could reach your destination without having
to negotiate major roundabouts, rush-hour traffic, or
busy roads. However, if the situation on the road
does become too daunting, you can always switch to
pavement mode (4 mph) and move to the footway
until you feel confident enough to rejoin the traffic.
What 'Rules of the road' should I follow?
When on the road, drive with due care and attention,
always travelling in the direction of the traffic, obeying traffic signs and signals and give way to pedestrians who are crossing at junctions or pedestrian
crossings.
Keep a special look out for children crossing roads
because they may lack the skills and experience to
negotiate traffic safely.
Remember that, in comparison with the majority of
other vehicles on the road, a Class 3 vehicle is not
powerful or conspicuous. As a Class 3 vehicle driver,
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you are often in a similarly vulnerable position to
cyclists - especially at roundabouts and junctions.
Direction indicators must always be used to indicate
manoeuvres on the road.
Always use the front and rear lights in the dark
or when visibility is poor due to adverse weather
conditions.
The vehicle's horn should not be used when the
vehicle is stationary (unless there is danger due
to another moving vehicle) or between 11.30 at
night and 07.00 in the morning. When the vehicle
is moving, the horn should be used to warn other
road users that you are there - it should not be
used as a rebuke.
Watch out for obstructions in the road ahead,
such as drains, pot-holes and parked cars.
When passing parked cars, watch out for doors
being opened in your path or the vehicle moving
off without indicating.
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How can I keep my vehicle roadworthy?
It is essential that you keep your vehicle in good
working order in accordance with the manufacturer's
recommendations. Vehicle suppliers should be able
to answer any questions you might have about the
maintenance of specific modes of Class 3 vehicle.
In general, if the vehicle has a battery, make sure
that it is kept in good condition.
Lighting equipment
should be kept clean and
in good working order.
Windows, windscreens
and mirrors should also
be clean and clear of
obstructions for good
all-round vision.
It is important that your vehicle undergoes
a thorough safety check at least once a year.
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Do’s and Don’ts
A mobility scooter could cause considerable damage
to the user or to other people if it collided with
someone or something.
Make sure that you know what all the switches and
lever on your scooter do, and that you can control
it properly before you go out on it.
Do not use your scooter if you have been drinking
alcohol or taking drugs.
Do not wear loose-fitting clothes. Make sure any
belts or scarves are tucked away so they can't
catch in one of the wheels.
Do not carry another person with you on the scooter.
Keep the battery fully charged and get know how
far your scooter can go before it will need
recharging. Remember that the distance you can
travel will depend on the condition of the battery,
the weight you have on the scooter and the kind
of route you follow. Cold weather, travelling on
rough surfaces and travelling up hills will use
more power and reduce the distance you travel.
The most direct or the shortest route will not always
be the best route to take. Steep hills, high kerbs or
other obstructions may make it impossible to tackle
certain routes.
Do not carry or lead a pet while you are on your
scooter. Even trained and well-behaved animals
can be unpredictable and cause crashes.
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Take great care when going
round corners. Your scooter
could topple over if you go
round a corner too quickly,
especially if the ground
is sloping.
If you are riding a Class 3 vehicle, you must switch
over to the 4mph setting when you are using it on
a pavement or footpath.
In a crowded area, such as a shopping precinct or
shop, you must make sure that you do not run into
anyone or cause any damage with your scooter.
Remember that you are not driving a car but a very
small and slow vehicle, which is very vulnerable.
It is wise to avoid using busy roads.
Although it is not recommended, you can use dual
carriageways if you have an extra flashing amber
warning light.
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You must not use your scooter on motorways.
You are not allowed to use bus lanes or cycle tracks.
Remember that other vehicles are almost certainly
moving much faster than you are and may reach
you before you expect them to. Be sure that you
have plenty of time to carry out your actions.
Parking
All the normal parking restrictions should
be observed.
Your vehicle should not be left on the footways
unattended if it causes an obstruction to other
pedestrians - especially those in wheelchairs or
those with prams or pushchairs. Remember too,
to look out for blind or partially sighted people
when parking.
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www.eastlothian.gov.uk
Guide based on an original concept by Conwyn County Borough Council
Produced with support from Preston / Seton / Gosford Local Service Management Group
CS181 609 0.025M
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