How Safe Are Mobility Scooters?

Love them or hate them mobility scooters are here to stay. For many they play an important part in peoples lives providing independence and freedom the users would not otherwise have. When used safely and competently everyone can travel around in a comfortable manner.

Safety is an important aspect when our loved ones are using a device that can lead to accidents. This is why a reputable company selling scooters provide a safety briefing on how to run a mobility scooter in a manner which will not only keep the new owner safe, but those who share the pathways they will travel on.

What I found fascinating was the fact that the majority of mobility scooter and car collisions happen at intersections. This of course can be reduced by the mobility scooter user making themselves visible to cars, and thoroughly checking there is time to cross the road safely, which will minimize their chance of becoming a statistic.

With this in mind, I was recently underwhelmed by the driving skill of some mobility scooter riders which caused me to take evasive action. This happened 3 times in one month, caused by the poor judgement of the scooter rider.  On one occasion the rider drove out onto a busy round-about behind a car waiting for their turn to go.  The scooter was hidden behind the car due to its height and couldn’t be seen.  Instead of waiting in the medium strip to check if the road was clear, they kept going and zoomed across to the other side….. and there I was coming off the round about driving right into their path!

If I was a driver with slower reactions I believe I would have hit them. This thought was quite distressing, and as this was the third time in the same month where I’d had to take evasive action, I popped into my local police station to find out what my obligations were as a road user; and what I found out both educated and surprised me.

A mobility scooter is not considered a vehicle and therefore they have the same rights as a pedestrian. After some discussion I had to agree.  After all a child on a push scooter is also very mobile, and as a road user I must be looking out for possible issues ahead.  However, the implication of mobility scooter riders being considered a pedestrian was quite sobering.  This means that as a road user, whether driving a car, motorbike or heavy vehicle in the case of an accident, I would be held accountable in the first instance and be charged, irrelevant of the pedestrians actions.

In short, because a mobility scooter is not classed as a vehicle, no legislation is in place to advise users of their safe use.  This had me asking the question… what actions can a mobility scooter rider take to keep themselves and others safe.  So I went online and discovered several sites.  One in particular stood out:  ‘Mobility Scooter Reviews by Glenn Coleman’.  I thought this site articulated the obligations of mobility scooter riders when sharing the road with others.  One particular section relates directly to the ‘safety rules’ highlighting various points, such as:

  • Visibility is an issue. Many scooters are not visible to drivers of cars and trucks.
  • Weaving in and out of parking stalls along the street can be very dangerous.

If you have a loved one who is currently using a mobility scooter, make sure the dealer made time to show them how to operate and keep themselves safe to ensure they can safely cruise the streets!

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Art By Deborah Kerly… Using an iPad

Many years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Deborah Kerly whilst living and traveling around Italy.  One of the first things I picked up was Deborah’s flair for the Arts.

Recently Deborah started using an iPad and I have taken the time to squirrel away some of Deborah’s work and wanted to share it with you.  The work you are about to see has been released with Deborah’s approval.

Experience ING New York Marathon…

Sometimes pictures speak louder than words so I have decided to let the photographs below tell the story…. I placed a yellow circle around me so you know which runner I am… can be hard to work it out in some photographs.

After the initial bottlenecks the runners started to spread out...
Coming up to the 10km mark... was feeling okay and running steadily...
Keeping a steady pace and making sure I had a drink at each station offering water and a sports drink...
Beginning to feel it...
Another check point crossed...
Pushing through and trying to stay focused...
And the walking begins... I have hit the wall....
I decided to mix it up (walk/run) and keep it positive....
Telling myself to keep going.... I'll get there in the end!
Left quad kept cramping up... not nice!
Still breaking into runs.... but it hurts...
Trying to walk my cramp out... didn't really work...
So close I can almost taste it, so I'm busy zigzagging around other runners so I can make it to the finish...
I can see the finish and it's looking pretty good!
I made it... and under the time I did the Flora London Marathon in 2009 (4 hours 59 minutes and 2 seconds)
Ready to pass out... it's been a very long day!
It's beginning to dawn on me that I've got at least an hour walk home yet after I pick up my bag from my numbered truck.
Better go pick up my medal...

ING New York Marathon 2011…

Over 47 thousand people would cross this bridge.... but not all would make it to the finish line...

Back in 2011 on Sunday the 6th of November I joined over 47,000 other runners in the ING New York Marathon.

Those that kept up with my training blogs and videos watched me go through the many ups, and then downs from injuries, which in the end meant my training all but stopped 5 weeks out from the actual marathon.  Not ideal, but that’s how it rolls, so we just get on with it.

New York is an exciting place to be!

So here I was in New York, the city that never sleeps, a very exciting place to be, as it turns out too exciting!  I realize now that the night before the race is not the time to have too much fun.

Unfortunately, upon our return to the hotel we popped into the lounge bar.  I of course, with a race to run the next day was to  have a non-alcoholic drink.  Everyone knows that drinking before a race is not advised as it certainly won’t help you run the next day.   But alas I spied what looked like a rather scrummy cocktail called  the ‘Stress Reliever’.  Fantastic I thought, I’ll only have one; famous last words!

I ran along the bottom section of the bridge, a lot less people!

The next morning when I awoke at 5.15 am I certainly didn’t feel like getting up (for obvious reasons).  But this was not a day to lounge in bed, it was a day to run a marathon.  However, I did make a note to self… never drink before a race again!

I grabbed my gear and made my way down to the lobby where a group of us walked a short distance to catch the buses which would take us out to the starting point.

So many people!

The bus ride seemed to take forever and lurch over every bump…. but maybe that was just me in my fragile state.  Once we were cruising over the Brooklyn Bridge I knew it wouldn’t be long before we got to see where the start line would be.

After the bus dropped us off, it was a short walk to the entrance point.  Once we were cleared by the security officers we we made our way to the designated start areas.   The officials had erected a big TV screen so as we waited we would be able to see our wave come up to tell us when to make our way to the starting pens.

The officials had everything running like clockwork and I thought the needs of the runners were catered for extremely well.  There were loads of portaloos and due to the nature of the day, people were happy to talk to complete strangers as they waited in the coolness of the morning.

To combat the morning chills I had popped out the night before and bought two bright yellow towels and I utilized the plastic poncho from home.  They did their job and were very easy to dispose of later on.  It’s good to note that if you are a first time runner you have to hand your bag to the trucks quite early on, so the articles of clothing you are left wearing you either run in, or leave by the side of the road.

I had a quiet wait as I sat there contemplating what was ahead of me.  I had decided the night before that I wouldn’t wear my iPod and I am so pleased I made that decision.  The bands and people around the course were amazing and I would have been disappointed to have missed the energy they created.

Here we come....

Before I knew it, I was standing on the Brooklyn side of the bridge ready to go.  My fragile physical state aside, I was excited about the prospect of seeing so many boroughs of New York.

As we began our run, they played ‘New York, New York!’ an excellent motivator for what was to lay ahead…..