When it comes to using a mobility scooter, there are the rules of the road you must abide by to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you. Whether you are looking to buy or simply hire an all-terrain mobility scooter to help you get around in day-to-day life, we have laid out the rules you need to keep in mind while using a powered vehicle.
Footpaths and pedestrianised areas are safer to take your mobility scooter than roads, and should always be used when they are available. However, pedestrians have priority, and consideration must be shown for other people using the footpath, particularly children and the elderly.
On footpaths, the maximum speed is 4mph (6kmh). You may need to reduce your speed for other users who may not be able to move out of your way quickly or when the footpath is too narrow.
When you go from footpaths to the road, you need to take care, looking around to make sure it is safe to join the traffic. Use dropped kerbs even if this means going out of your way to reach one. If there is a situation where you can’t use a dropped curb, approach at a right angle; approaching diagonally could cause your mobility scooter to fall over, putting you and others around you in danger.
When it comes to cycle paths, you cannot use your mobility scooter or powered wheelchair on routes marked as cycles only.
It is vital to take care when travelling on roads, as you will likely be travelling much slower than the vehicles around you, only reaching speeds up to 8mph (12kmh) on average. A mobility scooter cannot go in bus lanes, cycle lanes or motorways and should avoid dual carriageways or roads that have a speed limit over 50mph.
The only mobility scooters allowed on roads are class 3, and you should make sure you are travelling in the same direction as the traffic, not heading towards it. If travelling at night or in heavy rain, you must also have your lights on and, if possible, a high visibility jacket or reflective strips.
When travelling on the road, you should follow the same rules as other vehicles, including using lights, indicators, horns and so on. Be aware that other road users may not see you either, so a high visibility jacket is useful for both day and night.
You should be extra careful when taking your mobility scooter on the road at a junction, checking left and right to ensure no vehicles will be crossing your path. Turning right or straight over the road is the hardest, as you cross two lanes of traffic. You should either wait for a gap in the traffic, or negotiate the crossing as a pedestrian would, switching to a lower speed limit.
There is no legal eyesight requirement for mobility scooters, unlike with motor vehicles, it’s expected that you can read a car’s registration from 12.3 metres (40 feet) using both eyes, with glasses or in one eye if you have partial sight. If you are in an accident and poor eyesight was part of the cause, you may have to pay compensation.
Parking restrictions must be observed, and you cannot leave your vehicle unattended in a place that obstructs access for pedestrians, wheelchairs, pushchairs or vehicles. Parking concessions are possible under the Blue Badge scheme.
If you have any more questions and inquiries about using and hiring mobility scooters, get in touch and take a look at some of our previous blog posts.