With sun so high in the sky here in Wales there seem to be more power chairs and mobility scooters than ever about!
It is fantastic to realise just how much difference a power chair or mobility scooter can make to anyone with walking difficulties for whatever reason they may need them and here in Llandudno with so many hotels about it is not only the locals that can race through the town or along the promenade.
Power chairs normally have single hand control units and can be driven at up to 4mph on the pavements or through shopping centres and supermarkets. They cannot be ridden on the roads though except to cross from one side to another. Along the front in Llandudno though there is plenty of space to get them weaving through the crowds
Mobility scooters are different in the fact that they are normally ‘handle bar’ controlled and come in two different classes, the up to 4mph scooters are like the power chairs in the fact that they are able to go on the pavements and into shops etc but can only go on roads to effect a crossing. When you move up to the mobility scooters that can go up to 8mph these are allowed to actually drive on main roads but not dual carriage ways or motorways!
Those road going ones must be fitted with lights mirrors indicators and a horn to comply with the rules of the road and like other road going vehicles they technically should be registered with the DVLA and if they are not then the driver could be fined. In reality this very rarely happens.
The choice of mobility scooters nowadays is absolutely fantastic and some of them even look like the sort of bikes that a Hells Angel would be happy to be seen on, mind you they won’t go as fast as a Harley will!
Back in Llandudno one of the dangers, if you like to put it like that, is the number of visitors who once they are ensconced in their hotels realise it is possible to hire a mobility scooter to make getting about even easier. The problem is that lots of them have never driven a mobility scooter before and some of them have not driven cars and so their road sense is little or non-existent and you can see pedestrians having to jump out of the way as the user tries quickly to learn how to stop the thing!
With the rise in use of power chairs and mobility scooters there becomes a need for some legislation to require any user to have insurance, even if only third party fire and theft. If a power chair or mobility scooter is stolen it is most unlikely that the normal household insurance will cover it, more importantly should the user actually hit a pedestrian it is possible that severe injuries can be caused and if the injured person then sues for compensation the person responsible could be landed with a very large bill and costs, something that could even effect any property owned. So if you use a mobility scooter or powerchair, even if only on holiday then be sensible and get the strength of the insurance companies around you.
Power chairs and mobility scooters are now a common place fact of life and are an asset to anyone with walking difficulties or disabilities