Where can I use my Mobility Scooter
There have been changes to the UK laws in November 2006, in regard to class3 mobility scooters, but it is quite difficult to find up to date information.
In general terms mobility scooters can be driven with care on public pathways and pavements and the larger scooters, the ones that go at 8 miles per hour, are legally allowed on the roads. However, driving your scooter on public roads should be avoided wherever possible.
There are some obligations and restrictions as to where you can you use your mobility scooter.
CLASS 2 MOBILITY SCOOTERS
These scooters can legally travel up to 4mph (6.4kph) on pavements and are allowed on the road to cross from one to the other.
Essentially, this allows you to drive anywhere you are permitted to travel on foot.
The Class 2 category includes any 4 mph mobility and travel scooters.
Powered wheelchairs and scooters - intended for footway use only with a maximum speed of 4mph and an unladen weight not exceeding 113.4kgs. These are not required to be registered with DVLA.
CLASS 3 MOBILITY SCOOTERS
Class 3 category vehicles tend to be larger, than those found in Class 2, and can be driven on the roads where they can travel up to a speed of 8mph (12.8kph).
Most class 3-mobility scooters have two speed settings, usually changed by a switch so it is usually possible to drive at 4mph (6.4 kph) and switch to 8mph (12.8kph).
An 4mph maximum speed is permitted on the pavement or footpath.
An 8mph maximum speed is permitted only on the road. Not for use on the pavement or footpath.
You do not require a driving license to use a Class 3 vehicle but you should obey the Highway Code at all times, including complying with relevant eyesight requirements and not driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs etc.
Class 3 vehicles are not allowed on motorways, bicycle tracks or bus/cycle lanes. Although legally allowed on dual carriageways, with a compliant size, flashing beacon - this is probably not an ideal nor safe choice.
The vehicle must legally have certain construction features, including:
* a maximum unladen weight of 150 kg (330 Ibs);
* a maximum width of 0.85 metres (2'9');
* a device to limit its speed to 6.4 kmph (4 mph);
* a maximum speed of 12.8 kmph (8 mph);
* an efficient braking system;
* front and rear lights and reflectors, and direction indicator which are able to operate as a hazard warning signal;
* an audible warning instrument (horn);
* a rear view mirror;
* an amber flashing light if a 4-wheeled vehicle is used on a dual carriageway.
* If these conditions are not met, you are liable to prosecution by the police.
A flashing beacon can be used when driving on the road to warn other road users of their presence, and must be used when driving on dual carriageways.
These are now required to be registered with DVLA.
Class 3 invalid carriages need to be registered for road use, be licensed in the 'disabled' taxation class and display a nil duty tax disc.
Unlike ordinary cars, invalid carriages do not need to provide evidence of VED exemption when licensing in the disabled class.
Also, they are exempt from paying the first registration fee and are not required to display registration plates.
In order to register and license a class 3 invalid carriage the user will need to complete form V55/5 (for used vehicles) or V55/4 (for new vehicles) - and take or send it to their nearest DVLA local office (addresses can be found on the website at www.direct.gov.uk/motoring
or in the V100 information leaflet which is available from post offices that issue tax discs or by telephoning 0870 243 0444 - you will need to quote your postcode). Evidence of the vehicle's age (if available) will need to be submitted with the application together with documentation confirming the keeper's name and address.
Do I need insurance for my mobility scooter?
At the moment you are not legally required to have insurance for driving your scooter on the road.
However, it would be a sensible precaution to take out an insurance policy to cover your mobility scooter against accidental damage, theft and third party liability, in case of damage or injury to someone else or their property.