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information can be obtained from the DVLA Contact Centre – Tel: 0300 790 6802.


SHOULD I HAVE INSURANCE? Although it is not a legal requirement, it is strongly advised


that people take out insurance to cover personal safety, other people's safety and the value of the vehicle. It will be important to check whether household insurance provides cover to use a vehicle on the public highway, and whether your household insurance covers storage or parking for your vehicle at home.


WHAT FEATURES ARE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS? Mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs must have certain


construction features, including: Construction features


Max unladen weight Max pavement speed Max road speed


Class 2 Class 3


113.4kg (248lbs) 150kg (330lbs) 4mph (6.4kph) Not applicable


Speed device and speed Not applicable Required indicator (i) Max width Lights


Not applicable Lamps and


0.85m (2’9”) (i) front and rear


Braking requirement Must be capable of stopping in all conditions in reasonable time and distance, and of being held on a gradient of at least 1 in 5


reflectors required lights and only if used between direction indicators sunset and sunrise which are able to when used on the operate as a carriageway


(i) Speed device: means a device to limit the maximum speed to 4 mph, operable by the user.


hazard warning signal; (ii) an amber flashing light if used on a dual carriageway


Rear view mirror Audible warning instrument (horn)


Not applicable Required Not applicable Required


What about two person vehicles?


(i) Speed device: means a device to limit the maximum speed to 4 mph, operable by the user.


WHAT ABOUT TWO PERSON VEHICLES? Two person mobility vehicles are not permitted to be used on


Two person mobility vehicles are not permitted to be used on the public highway (i.e. on a pavement or road). They can be used on private land with the permission of the land owner.


Braking requirement Must be capable of stopping in all conditions in reasonable time and distance, and of being held on a gradient of at least 1 in 5


the public highway (i.e. on a pavement or road). They can be used on private land with the permission of the land owner. It is not permitted to carry anyone else on a mobility vehicle


Choosing the right vehicle When considering using a mobility vehicle,


e.g. a baby or a small child. However, the law does not explicitly state that a parent or guardian carrying a child in a pouch or a sling on their person, as an adult who was not disabled would do, is unlawful.


advice to make sure it meets your needs, particularly if you are choosing a vehicle for the first time. We recommend always going to an approved supplier who should also assess your needs and help you to choose the right vehicle. It is important to try out a vehicle before buying, to ensure you have the strength, control and confidence to use it. It may be possible to arrange a home visit to see how suitable a scooter or wheelchair might be for your home; in particular, if there are suitable storage and battery charging facilities. Consider whether your weight and build affects the stability of a vehicle; if you have limitations in using your hands you should consider if the controls are suitable. You should also consider whether you will be able to get on and off the vehicle easily. You will need to decide how far you intend to travel and what difficulties your typical journey might entail;


CHOOSING THE RIGHT VEHICLE When considering using a mobility vehicle, it is important to


get expert advice to make sure it meets your needs, particularly if you are choosing a vehicle for the first time. We recommend always going to an approved supplier who should also assess your needs and help you to choose the right vehicle. It is important to try out a vehicle before buying, to ensure you have the strength, control and confidence to use it. It may be possible to arrange a home visit to see how suitable a scooter or wheelchair might be for your home; in particular, if there are suitable storage and battery charging facilities. Consider whether your weight and build affects the stability of a vehicle; if you have limitations in using your hands you should consider if the controls are suitable. You should also consider whether you will be able to get on and off the vehicle easily. You will need to decide how far you intend to travel and what difficulties your typical journey might entail; for instance, uneven surfaces, high


Ability Needs Magazine


kerbs or steep hills. Vehicles vary in design,


for instance, uneven surfaces, More Shopmobility articles on next page high size, features and price, and using a mobility vehicle requires a combination of sight, strength, co-ordination, balance


4mph (6.4kph) 8mph (12.8kph)


kerbs or steep hills. Vehicles vary in design, size, features and price, and using a


you should underta also wish to ask check. Your local and the opportunity


mobility vehicle requires a combination of sight, strength, co- ordination, balance and concentration. Before acquiring, and during ownership of a vehicle, you should undertake an assessment with your dealer/supplier. You may also wish to ask your doctor or an occupational therapist to provide a check. Your local Shopmobility Scheme will also be able to offer you help and the opportunity to try out different vehicles. It is not always advisable to buy a vehicle online as it may not


be suitable for your needs. If you are buying a second hand vehicle, it is important you have the vehicle checked for any possible faults, and that you ensure you obtain the handbook. All vehicles should bear the CE mark to indicate conformity with European standards. If you are in doubt about a supplier, contact the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) for advice. (020 7702 2141 or bhta@bhta.com). The sort of questions to ask the dealer/supplier about the


vehicle are:


1. How much does it cost? 2. What is covered by the warranty? 3. Is training provided or do you know of any training available locally?


It is not always adv for your needs. If y have the vehicle ch obtain the handboo conformity with Eu contact the British 7702 2141 or bhta@


The sort of questio


4. Where can I find out further information on the vehicle? 5. Where can I best use this vehicle? 6. Is the wheelchair "reference" wheelchair size? 7. Can it be transported in a car or on public transport? 8. What equipment does it come with? 9. What about servicing; is there a breakdown recovery service?


1. How much do 2. What is cove 3. Is training pro 4. Where can I 5. Where can I 6. Is the wheelc 7. Can it be tran 8. What equipm 9. What about s


What should I do to


WHAT SHOULD I DO TO PREPARE MYSELF FOR GOING OUT ON MY VEHICLE? If you are using a mobility vehicle for the first time, or if it is a


It is not permitted to carry anyone else on a mobility vehicle e.g. a baby or a small child. However, the law does not explicitly state that a parent or guardian carrying a child in a pouch or a sling on their person, as an adult who was not disabled would do, is unlawful.


is important


Although there are no legal eyesight requirements, goo to drive a mobility vehicle safely and yo judge distances, recognise obstacles a able to see pedestrians and other eyesight could be a contributory facto could make you liable for a compensati


while since you have driven on the road, you are strongly advised to get some training to ensure that you can steer and control the vehicle properly, especially on uneven surfaces. Your assessment should have involved checking your eyesight, reaction time, balance and posture, ability to sit for long periods, concentration and ability to get on and off the vehicle. You may also want to consider having a regular review of your driving skills. Such training is routinely offered at all Shopmobility Schemes affiliated to NFSUK as a part of the SUPA Award (Scooter Users’ Proficiency Award – please see the more detailed article about this in the last edition of this magazine). Although there are no legal eyesight


change with age and you are recommended to have Therefore, you should have a minimum visual acuity of it


When choosing your mobility vehicle you will be asked you are eligible to be registered as sev (blind), you should not drive a mobility v put yourself and others at risk. registered as sight


requirements, good vision is important to drive a mobility vehicle safely and you should be able to judge distances, recognise obstacles and hazards, and be able to see pedestrians and other road users. Poor eyesight could be a contributory factor in an incident and could make you liable for a compensation claim. Vision can change with age and you are recommended to have regular sight tests. Therefore, you should have a minimum visual acuity of 6/24.


to get expert When choosing your mobility vehicle you


speak to your optometrist or doctor to de for you.


will be asked about your vision. If you are eligible to be registered as severely sight impaired (blind), you should not drive a mobility vehicle as this would put yourself and others at risk. If you are eligible to be registered as sight impaired (partially sighted), you should speak to your optometrist or


If you regularly take medication that makes you d consider whether it would be safe to use a mobility vehi doubt, consult your doctor. You should not use a mo have been drinking alcohol.


doctor to determine what’s best for you. If you regularly take medication that makes you drowsy, you


should consider whether it would be safe to use a mobility vehicle. If you are in any doubt, consult your doctor. You should not use a mobility vehicle if you have been drinking alcohol. For details of training courses, please contact your local


For details of training courses, please contact your lo Shopmobility Scheme or local police force. Some tran provide training if you are intending to take your vehicle


authority, Local Shopmobility Scheme or local police force. Some transport operators also provide training if you are intending to take your vehicle on a bus or train.


If you regularly take m consider whether it would doubt, consult your doct have been drinking alcoh


What 'rules of the road' should I follow?


For details of training co Shopmobility Scheme or provide training if you are


45


Although there are no leg to drive a judge dis able to eyesight could ma


change with age and yo Therefore, you should ha


When choosing your mob you are elig (blind), you put yourse registered speak to yo for you.


If you impaired (partially s


If you are using a you have driven on to ensure that you uneven surfaces. eyesight, reaction concentration and to consider having routinely offered at of the SUP see the m magazine)


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