Mobility scooter users offered training in how to operate them safely
Mayo County council have expressed concerns recently about the safety of elderly people in the county when operating mobility scooters. They have said that in recent times there have been several incidents involving road users and people operating mobility scooters in the county. Their concerns have resulted in the council offering free training sessions to those who use mobility scooters at the council’s road safety office.
The concern stems from the fact that mobility scooters are actually exempt from the road traffic rules and that a majority of the incidents involving them have gone unreported. There is no driving test in place for people who require the use of mobility scooters and a person does not need to hold a drivers licence to operate one.
Thankfully there has been no reported deaths involving mobility scooters in Ireland, however in Australia over 60 people have been killed in accidents involving mobility scooters and the intention is to make sure there are no similar tragedies in Ireland.
The programme being offered by Mayo County Council will educate users of the vehicles about the legal requirements about operating a mobility scooter and teach users how to navigate them safely to avoid any accidents occurring in the future.
Speaking about the programme on offer Noel Gibbons from the Road Safety Authority said “The aim of the project is to help people with mobility issues to maintain their independence, while enhancing their own safety. With an increasing ageing population, some action has to be taken to ensure that standards are maintained in terms of the safety of these vehicles and that some basic training is undertaken by all users.”