“Get your motor running
Head out on the highway
Looking for adventure
And whatever comes our way
Born to be wild…..”
So you can picture the scene, a big Harley-Davidson pointing down a road stretching into the sunset. Wrong! It’s Bert from number 26 nosing his mobility scooter out the front gate and winding up the throttle to tear down the pavement to the shops, the earpieces from his aviator hat streaming in the wind. And woe betides any pedestrian that gets in his way. A beep from the horn if you’re lucky, a sharp pain in the back of the legs if you’re not.
I am not against mobility scooters. Mobility scooters have their place. They have brought freedom and independence to many, enabled them to go shopping, call on friends and relatives and even get out for a ‘walk’ into the countryside or visit attractions.
Unfortunately there are a minority of users who seem to have gone rogue. Some of these scooters are huge wheeled beasts. They bear down on you as you walk along narrow pavements, career round blind corners, block shop doorways and even the aisles inside. The Hells Angels of the mobility scooter fraternity. They consider themselves indestructible, invincible, the new kings of the paved areas that you have to step aside for, and not just on the pavements either. The other day I saw one exiting a supermarket carpark at speed and crossing the junction at the lights. The first set of lights to the central reservation between the carriageways was on green, the second set was on red. “Ain’t no stopping us now, we’re on the move.” The silver Corsa swerved out the way as the Hell’s Granny burnt rubber through the lights, heading home laden with her bags of groceries.
It seems a Class 3 mobility scooter can have a top speed of 8 miles per hour, though only 4 mph is the permitted speed on pedestrian pavements, and the disabled user is not required to have a driving licence or take any kind of test. However, they should not be driven whilst under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medication that may affect driving ability. Unless you decide to go abroad on holiday that is.
The Spanish resort of Benidorm, popular with the Brits for a long time now, is evidently being terrorised by gangs of scooter riding oldies. They scream along Playa Levant the main promenade strip leaving their wheels parked 3 or 4 deep outside the bars and nightclubs, in some cases, no doubt, weaving their merry way back to the hotel in a convoy of speed three sheets to the wind.
Come on you scooter pilots, I’m not begrudging you a good time or saying keep off the pavements. Just take a little bit more care. However, to some of you I would say: spare a thought for us pedestrians, or we will all end up singing:-
“This ain’t no upwardly mobile freeway
Oh no, this is the road
Sadly this is the road
This is the road to hell”