Recently, mobility scooter accidents have been cropping up in the media. Here at Middletons, we go to every length to make sure that you are safe and prepared to use a mobility scooter. Before we allow you to buy a mobility scooter, we conduct a free safety assessment to make sure you are physically and mentally able to drive the vehicle. This process is integral for your and other road user’s safety and to prevent these kinds of accidents.
We often get asked is there a speed limit for mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs? The answer is yes. This is one of the most fundamental safety rules of mobility scooters that you need to know before purchasing a mobility scooter. We've put together the legal requirements that apply to you as a powered scooter user, the difference between Class 2 and Class 3 vehicles and how to safely use them on the roads and pavements.
What is the difference between Class 2 and Class 3 mobility scooters?
There are many different types of mobility scooters but there are only two categories...
Class 2 scooters have a 4mph maximum speed limit and are designed to be used on pavements and in pedestrian areas.
Class 3 invalid carriages have an 8mph upper-speed limit and can be used on the road or on the pavement.
In either case, you should obey the rules of the road that other vehicles have to abide by. For instance, if you’re on the road you have to follow the laws of the road and if you’re on the pavement you must follow the rules for pedestrians.
Rules for using the pavement
We recommend that you use pavements over roads when they’re available because they’re safer. You should give pedestrians priority and show consideration for other pavement users, particularly those with a hearing or visual impairments who may not be aware that you are there.
Although you should not exceed 4mph off the road, you will need to reduce your speed to adapt to other pavement users around you who may not move out of your way quickly enough or where the pavement is too narrow.
When you move off the pavement to cross the road or to join the traffic, you need to take extra care. Before entering the carriageway, look all around to make sure it’s safe. Always try and use dropped kerbs, always approach kerbs at right angles and don’t try and negotiate a kerb higher than the scooter’s recommendations.
Rules for using the road
Take care on the roads as you will be going much slower than other traffic. You are limited to 8mph on the road and people will overtake you.
When using your mobility scooter on the road, Class 3 scooters should travel in the direction of the traffic. Class 2 scooters should always use the pavement where available. If there is no pavement available, use the road with caution and also travel in the direction of the traffic.
When you’re travelling at night, your lights must be used. You must follow the same rules about using your lights, indicators and horn as other road users. Be aware that other road users may not see you very well so you should make yourself more visible, even in the day time, by wearing a reflective vest or placing reflective strips on the back of your mobility scooter.
Take extra care at junctions. When going straight ahead or turning left, make sure there are no cars that will cross your path or overtake you. If you’re trying to turn right, it’s a busy road and you feel that moving into the road is difficult or dangerous you can,
· Stop on the left-hand side of the road and wait for a safe gap in the traffic.
· Or mount the pavement and make the turn as a pedestrian, crossing roads when it is safe and lowering your speed to 4mph.
If the road is too hazardous maybe avoid it completely. Similarly, with roundabouts with two lanes or more, it might be safer to use the pavements or avoid the roundabout altogether.
For mobility scooters, all normal parking restrictions apply. Your mobility scooter should not be left unattended where it causes an obstruction to pedestrians, especially those in manual wheelchairs. Parking concessions provided under the Blue Badge scheme will apply to those vehicles displaying a valid badge.
You must not, under any circumstances use the motorway with a mobility scooter nor on a dual carriageway where the speed limit exceeds 50mph. If you are going to use a restricted dual carriageway, you must have your amber flashing warning lights.