Our Highway Guide to Electric Wheelchairs and Mobility Scooters

Thursday, 27 July 2017  |  Wings Mobility

Here is a Highway Guide for Electric Scooters and Wheelchairs.

What to consider before buying.

  • Make sure you are able and fit to use it safely.
  • It is usually possibly to get advice through your local Social Services or Occupational Health Service.
  • You need to be able to:
  • See well enough to be safe

Adequately control your vehicle and do all the possible manoeuvres, such as reversing, climbing and descending kerbs and turning safely.

Cross busy roads.  This is not as easy on a scooter/wheelchair as on foot.

Know the rules of safety and consideration for yourself and other people.

It is important to arrange for you local Occupational Therapist Department or any reputable dealer like Wings Mobility to assess and advise you.  This is true even if you have driven a car previously, as it is very different from driving a scooter/wheelchair. If in any doubt as to whom to ask then please call us on 01293 322843

Where can my scooter or wheelchair be driven?

Some wheelchairs/scooters can only be driven safely on the road.  This does not always make it safe to do so.  To drive safely on the road it is advisable to have a vehicle capable of doing 6/8 miles and hour, equipped with headlights, rear lights, flashing indicators and a horn.  Even with all this you may not use dual carriageways unless you also have an additional flashing beacon light and you are not permitted to use bus lanes or cycle tracks.

Golden rule when you are on the pavement: Pedestrians have the right of way!

The Highway Code for electric scooters and wheelchairs.

Why do we need a Highway Code for electric scooters and wheelchairs?

The idea comes from watching some of the silly things people do on such vehicles.  It is important to remember that these "vehicles" can be dangerous not just to the user but to pedestrians as well.

Does a wheelchair/scooter fit into any category in the Highway Code?

The categories of road users in the Highway Code are pedestrians, cyclists, motor cyclists and motorists.  As a wheelchair/scooter user you don't really fit any of these categories.  You may however partly fit them.

Do I need insurance?

At present there is no overall legal obligation about insurance, though some finance companies insist on it.  Nevertheless it is a very good idea to make sure you are covered for fire and theft, accidental and malicious damage, and Third Party Damages - just in case.

How far can I travel?

This changes with every manufacturer.  The important part to note is that the range is affected by rough surfaces, hills, gradients, cold weather, kerbs and carrying a load of shopping.  Make sure you recharge the batteries as per the manufacturers' instructions.

Speed limits

On the footpath the limit is 4mph (6.4kph).  On the road it is 8mph (12kph).

(Source: British Healthcare Trades Association -BHTA- Get Wise Leaflets)