Free ‘driving lessons’ for mobility scooter users are soon to go on offer to people in Horsham.
The ‘stay safe’ sessions are being made available to buggy users thanks to Horsham District Older People’s Forum and Horsham Town Community Partnership.
During the sessions, scooter tutors will accompany buggy users on pavements, paths, into shops and other public places, offering advice and tips.
The scooter drivers will be able to practice the best ways of reversing, turning, approaching slopes, narrow openings and such like.
The free, volunteer-run sessions will offer two and a half hours of skills and safety advice.
Horsham Town Community Partnership chairman David Searle said: “We urge those who are considering buying a scooter, beginners and experienced scooter drivers to take advantage of these sessions to improve their own safety and that of other pavement users.
“We will have some scooters available for those who do not yet own one.
“You are never too old to learn,” he added.
Experts say that the number of accidents involving mobility scooters continues to rise each year.
The new safety sessions in Horsham are being supported by Horsham District Council, Age UK, Horsham District and Clearwell Mobility.
The Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People is also involved in the training sessions, and providing support to the tutors.
Almost 400,000 people in the UK are estimated to regularly use a mobility scooter but there is no legal requirement for users to have any safety or driver training in their use.
Horsham Older People’s Forum chairman Martin Bruton said: “Mobility scooters can and do make a positive impact on people’s lives.
“I know that some are wary of driving a scooter or have been put off using one and this is a perfect opportunity to put that right under safe conditions. At the same time, it’s also a great opportunity for those more experienced users to pass on their skills and experience.”
Anyone interested in joining one of the stay safe sessions, can phone 01403 269 384 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile, more volunteer scooter tutors are needed. No experience of riding a mobility scooter is necessary as training will be given. Anyone interested should contact David Searle on 07729 376345.