As if Tescos has not had enough bad publicity recently, they are in the news again!! Bruce Storr, an HGV driver from St Budeaux in Plymouth, received a broken arm, after being hit by a speeding mobility scooter in one of the aisles at his local Tesco supermarket.
When Bruce Storr was interviewed by his local newspaper the Plymouth Herald, he commented: “I was at the paper stand picking up a newspaper when he came shooting out of the aisle where they keep the videos and DVDs.” He added that the mobility scooter “Hit me on the backside. I was knocked backwards by a good five or six feet and landed on my shoulder and my head.” Bruce was subsequently taken to hospital, where it was discovered he had a chipped bone in his shoulder. Devon Police are investigating but the mobility scooter driver has not been charged as yet.
This incident once again opens up the debate whether more restrictions are required on the 350,000 scooters on the UK’s streets. At the moment you don’t need a licence to drive a mobility scooter, although the slower ones cannot be driven on the road and the faster ones with a maximum speed of 8mph have to be registered for road use. It is legal for mobility scooters to be driven up and down the aisles in a supermarket, although the maximum speed they are meant to be driven at is 4 mph, when not on a road.
There have been a number of high profile mobility scooter incidents in supermarkets. Last year a disabled woman was ordered by a court to pay compensation of £13,000 to a supermarket staff member she knocked over. In 2010 a disabled woman had to sell her home to pay £6,000 compensation and £10,000 costs after accidentally hitting a Morrisons supermarket shelf-stacker with her mobility scooter. There have also been some traumatic injuries on pavements, including a young mother in Exeter who had her back broken by a mobility scooter that collided with her table outside a cafe.
A recent study revealed that the majority of mobility scooter drivers preferred to ride them on the road, even though it’s illegal to ride the slower mobility scooters on the road. However, here too mobility scooter riders have suffered problems. In September 2014 a Barnsley man was taken to hospital with serious injuries after being knocked off the mobility scooter he was driving on the road. A few days later a Gosport woman was hit by a lorry trailer outside the ferry terminal, thrown from her mobility scooter, and hit her head on a bollard.
These mobility scooters are a saviour for 350,000 disabled or infirm people in the UK, but if they are a liability in shops, on the pavement and on the road, is there anywhere that’s safe for them to be ridden? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the Reply Box below.