Dorset

Anti-social mobility scooter incidents in Dorset rise

Anti-social incidents involving mobility scooters have risen by nearly 60% in the last three years in Dorset, figures obtained by the BBC have shown.

There were 31 incidents in the year between 31 January 2010-11, 40 in 2011-12 and 53 in 2012-13.

PC Dave Williams, from Christchurch police, has backed the idea of mandatory training before users can go on roads and pavements.

A recent government consultation ruled training should stay voluntary.

That was despite two thirds of respondents being in favour of tougher rules, although a review of mandatory eyesight tests for users was recommended.

Under current law, mobility scooter drivers must be aged 14 and above and are limited to travel at 8mph on roads and 4mph on pavements.

'Intoxicated drivers'

Users do not need a licence or insurance but must register their vehicle with the DVLA.

PC Williams, who runs training sessions, said: "I had a go on one... when you start accelerating away it's quite daunting."

Regarding compulsory training he said: "I certainly think that would be of great assistance because you can't get behind the wheel of any car or motorbike without any mandatory training.

"You can buy them online now and put them together yourself without any training whatsoever.

"The complaints I have received in Christchurch are [about] people who have been going into supermarkets and not reducing the speed limit.

"If you clip someone's ankle... you can cause injury to yourself or another, so certainly that needs to be looked at."

But he warned users they were not immune from prosecution and could face fines or worse.

"We've had stories where people have been intoxicated driving them - you still fall foul of the law."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites