My late mum, God rest her, used to have a mobility scooter to get around as she was disabled and couldn’t walk more than two or three steps. I had a lot of time to get used to it, and so I know how big they generally are and how slow they tend to go.
So, imagine my surprise when I read a news article today about an elderly lady and her two friends who were knocked down by one of these mobility aids. Now, I know they can go quite quickly, about 6mph flat out (sort of slow jogging speed), but most owners tend to keep them at around 2-3mph (walking speed).
Indeed the scooter in the story, driven by another elderly lady, was alleged to have been travelling at about 4mph. The elderly ladies that were knocked down said that the scooter and its driver “came out of nowhere” and then “escaped quickly.” I’m sorry but a large scooter going at a slow 4mph is hardly something that comes ‘out of nowhere’; nor is it an item that can ‘escape quickly’.
The lady that was knocked out was ninety years old and, possibly, it could be that she just didn’t see the scooter. It’s also fairly likely that, as she and her friends got slowly to their feet, they just didn’t see it leave.
I don’t use a motorised scooter; but I do use a wheelchair, and my mum used a scooter as I’ve said. I can tell you now that the amount of people who just step out in front of you is amazing. It’s like they honestly just don’t see you or, something I believe in my darker moments, they just don’t care because you’re not walking.
Although scooters have brakes they, like cars, can’t just stop dead – even my wheelchair, especially when pushed by my errant husband or daughter, isn’t going to stop moving in a second.
So if I’m asked to believe that this scooter just ‘appeared’, mowed these ladies down and then made off like lightning; I have to say I can’t. More likely, in my opinion at least, is that the elderly ladies stepped in front of it, the owner couldn’t stop and, on deciding it was all their fault, she left.
I make the latter part of my statement because most of the nasty abuse I receive in my wheelchair is, surprisingly, from the elderly. Also my father in law and many of his friends drive like lunatics, not in speed but in actions.
They sail out onto roundabouts or push in front of other cars either because they have their ‘trafficators’ going (indicators to the rest of us), or because (and I have had this said to me on too many occasions to count) they fought a war for the likes of me and so, apparently, appear to believe this always gives them an automatic right of way.
So, it’s not unreasonable to assume that if two groups of elderly people, all in the same sort of age bracket (eighties-nineties), all believe they have the right of way on the pavement/road and just step out/motor along with the solid belief the other party will stop, then a collision is going to happen.
Indeed my father in law’s had so many scrapes, bangs and serious near misses that I refuse to get into a car if he’s driving. My mother in law was whole other nightmare behind the wheel but, thank God, she’s actually given up driving. Trust me when I say the roads of the UK are the safer for it.
So whilst I think both parties in this particular little tiff were to blame to a point, I think the elderly lady and her friends who state the slow moving scooter came "out of nowhere" are probably the most at fault because it's more likely they just didn't see it. After all, to imply the mobility scooter just appeared like a formula one car driven by Jensen Button, is like saying a snail is drag racing down the garden path with a slug..........marginally possible, but extremely unlikely.
This is Simi, thanks for reading....