Lessons for people in how to drive a mobility scooter safely are being set up in Horsham.
The training sessions are being planned as a pilot scheme by Horsham Town Community Partnership and Horsham District Older People’s Forum, supported by Age UK.
The sessions will be for both novices and experienced mobility scooter drivers who want a refresher course.
A spokesman for Horsham District Older People’s Forum said: “The number of mobility scooters currently being used in the UK is estimated to be 350,000 and is likely to increase year on year.
“There is no requirement to register or insure mobility scooters, have any driving experience or have any training. Provided you have the money you can purchase your machine, ride off and drive most places off road.”
He said that between 2011 and 2015 there had been 23 mobility scooter fatalities with a further 490 injuries. “To help prevent these accidents, give training and confidence to new users it is proposed to run a free pilot training scheme in Horsham. If this proves to be successful, the programme could be ongoing. We are in contact with Gosport Older Persons Forum who have run a similar successful pilot scheme and they have agreed to share their experiences and support us setting up our scheme.”
It is estimated that around £2,000- £3,000 will be needed to fund a six-month trial.
artnership Martin Bruton said: “Mobility scooters and the safety of both the riders and pedestrians has often been raised at our forum meetings. This training project is needed and deserves your support to make happen.
“If you, a family member or friend uses a mobility scooter or are thinking of purchasing one in the future and feel this would be something they would benefit from, please contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org”
Horsham District Older People’s Forum is to discuss setting up the pilot scheme at their next meeting on Wednesday December 6 at 10.30am at the Southwater Parish Council Offices, Beeson House, Lintot Square. Supporters are welcome to attend and should email email@example.com to confirm their attendance.
Anyone who is unable to attend but would like to support the initiative can email firstname.lastname@example.org