Two sons mourning the death of their father in a tragic accident, have called for safety helmets to be worn by mobility scooter drivers.

John Hitchcock, a retired window cleaner, was driving home on his mobility scooter along the pavement in Portsmouth when a wheel went over the edge of the kerb and the scooter fell into the road. It was a totally freak accident but the 75-year-old suffered serious head injuries and died some time later, due to these injuries at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.

His sons, Terry and Michael Hitchcock, attended his inquest in Portsmouth and heard that a helmet would have saved their father’s life. Michael said: ‘He was a truly great father, who was taken from us too soon by the lax legislation surrounding mobility scooters and I hope users of these will take note of how dangerous these scooters are and wear helmets”.

The Highway Code states that scooters must not travel faster than 4mph on pavements. Slower Class 2 mobility scooters can only be used on pavements, whereas Class 3 mobility scooters can travel at a top speed of 8mph, can be used on the road and must be registered with the DVLA.

There is no requirement to wear a helmet, although lights must be used at night and reflective clothing is advised. Bearing in mind that most cyclists wear a helmet, has the time come for mobility scooter riders to do the same, especially when driving on the road?

Do you wear a helmet when riding on your mobility scooter? If not, why not? Also do you think legislation should be introduced enforcing helmet use by mobility scooter drivers? Let us know in the Reply Box below.


Di Barton, Said:
I am not going to wear a damned helmet on my scooter unless pedestrians are forced to do so too. I’m in my fifties and have all my wits about me and I can use my scooter safely. I hate, hate, hate having to use a scooter at all but it’s the only way that I can get out of the house on my own. If I have to wear a helmet I think I would rather just give up. I would rather have to sit some sort of licensing test to prove my faculties are up to the job than to be forced into wearing a helmet while traveling at around 5kph.

HJ Lawrence, Said:
Not a cyclists helmet, perhaps a ski helmet would be suitable?

Harry Franklin, Said:
I have a large mobility scooter.
I totally agree but what sort ?

Keith Gentles, Said:
Just recently had a wee bump with my mobility scooter, this left me with cracked ribs and bruised chest. I tipped over and came down on the ground with a heavy thump also hitting the side of my head.If I had been in concrete or tarmac the force could have fractured my skull, I did however land on a grass bank having come of a pathway. When I next go out I will wear my old bike safety helmet.

c. baker, Said:
I use a mobility scooter, I get tired of persons expecting all others being penalised for a few accidents and i do not think any person can be sure of outcome if one had been using safety item

Colin Eckloff, Said:
I ride a mobility scooter regularly and have been for the past 3 or 4 years. When used on a footpath it is very easy to be thrown off course when the path has a sideways slope or camber and I have had many times where one has to lean in the opposite direction to compensate for the camber. This in itself makes the scooter veer towards the road and is very easy to misjudge it and run a wheel off the kerb thus throwing the whole scooter off balance and almost tipping over. Similarly on the road with the lack of maintenance to manhole covers etc it is also very easy to be pushed sideways into overtaking traffic and I have been hooted and sworn at on many occasions to look where I am going. Its not a case of looking where I am going it is trying to avoid obstacles and avoid being hit by other traffic. I personally have not fallen from my scooter but I do know of at 3 people who have either fallen because of the kerb or been hit by a truck. 2 out of the 3 suffered minor head injuries and were lucky not to have had worse. I support any legislation for the use of a minimum of a cycle helmet for scooters on the footpaths and a motor cycle helmet for class 3 scooters used on the road.

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