A Mobility Scooter comes to Stay - Part 2
The reason for my confidence in that assertion?
Well how many youngsters have you seen who are nearer five foot tall than six?
Scooters are not all four-wheeled. We found a few .. and getting fewer .. three-wheeled scooters. These are the only possible solution at present, for taller people.
Well, above we learned that a mobility scooter is basically a chassis with electronics and an electric motor. We also later discovered that the bodies are fibreglass, and are mostly-although not entirely - cosmetic.
On a three-wheeled scooter the body can be made so that the footplate splits into two around the front wheel. On a four-wheeled scooter, leg-room stops at the mud guards over the two front wheels. On a three-wheeled scooter it can continue for another 12' or so.
I put a simple question to several dealers, so far without response. 'Why not make a range of possible body options?'
Dealers shift boxes for the most part, with these scooters. Some more economically and customer-friendly than many others .. but since they can do almost nothing towards making the product actually more suited to the individual client, other than perhaps a little 'assistance' in choosing a model .. they are then really able to do very little more than box-shift.
The most obvious area in which they can 'assist' is in ensuring that the alI-important weight designations are met. Having ascertained the weight of the rider, it is then reasonably simple to widen (for lighter weight clients) the choice, or narrow it as the client weight dictates. The heavier client requires the higher 'class' scooter .. which is also in the range that goes for further distances, and goes for longer periods between battery charges.
Imminent Government and police meddling is about to 'formalise' all of this, and inevitably in the process drive away (pardon the pun) prospective riders who might well benefit. The persistent analogy with the motor car is facile, but that has never stopped bureaucrats in the past.
A simple liaison, perhaps some joined-up government, between the disabled badge scheme registration and the DVLA would prevent most of the present 'danger' .. of people who are not disabled, riding these 'lethal' scooters through crowds of people .. mowing them all down like an entire chapter of Hell's Angels perhaps?
However when we tried suggesting, to the local authority, that this patently simple device be employed to target qualifying disabled people automatically for claiming their poll tax rebate, we got a lot of (I suppose predictable) officialese and patent rubbish about the Data Protection Act. And this from a council more than happy to drive a coach and horses through that same act, whilst it unmercifully 'markets' the entire electoral roll to anyone who wants to buy it.
The 'choice' of Scooter steadily became less of a choice as researches progressed. Weight is the other main factor to be accounted for, in conjunction with the size of the rider. As well as measuring some 6' 6' in height, I also weigh in the region of 23 stones. When looking through lists of scooters, this effectively rules out the little shopper buggies and most of the 4-6 mph so-called road-worthy buggies after that. This leaves only the 8 mph road-worthy long-range scooters.
If long distance travel ever becomes an issue for you with one of these scooters then a deal of pre-planning must be put into the journey. There is some provision for scooters on railway transport, and also some possibilities with taxis, however bus companies appear to make provision only for small scooters.