Defiant OAP Robert Cockburn happily trundles along a 60mph road on his 8mph mobility scooter, leaving a trail of irate motorists in his wake.
The pensioner revealed drivers shout abuse at him because he holds them up by making daily low-speed trips to the beach for a picnic. But Robert, 70, insists he has as much right to use the road as they do — and refuses to give way or drive on the pavement.
Robert explains: “My mobility scooter is registered with the DVLA. It pays zero road tax and is covered by insurance. It’s an on-road mobility scooter. People overtake on the white lines. That’s not my problem — it’s theirs. I get cars that toot when they go past. They don’t toot anybody else.
He continues: “And I’ve had cars drawing level with me and yelling abuse, telling me I should be on the pavement. Why would the DVLA register scooters for on-road use if they wanted to limit them to the pavement? I’m no different to a cyclist on the road.”
The former bus inspector travels over two miles each day along the twisting road from his home in Port Seton, East Lothian, to Longniddry Bents, where he parks up to enjoy a picnic and read his newspaper.
The Highway Code states that mobility scooters should use footpaths wherever possible, but Robert claims it’s not practical on his bulky wheels. The police are powerless to prevent him driving on the B1348 as he is not breaking any law. Robert explained: “The police don’t stop me. One constable came and asked me questions about two years ago, but it was quite obvious he didn’t know what the law was regarding mobility scooters. I had to put him right and he apologised. I pointed out that if people are speeding on that road, it’s up to traffic police to sort that out — not me. I don’t use the pavement because if I meet a bike I can’t get out of the way. If I meet another scooter, they’re too heavy to lift up and down on the pavement.”
Frustrated motorists who have been stuck behind Robert, below, want him to stick to the path. One driver even warned he is dicing with death by continuing with his road trips. He said: “He’s got his high-viz jacket on, but I just think one day he is going to get run over. You wouldn’t even want to walk along that road, never mind drive a mobility scooter along it. There are double white lines on some stretches meaning that drivers cannot overtake him. It’s crazy, especially as there’s a path all the way along the road.”
Jason Wakeford of road safety charity Brake said: “Pavements are much safer than roads. The Highway Code states that scooters should use pavements where available.”
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