Department for Transport THE Government are planning to introduce new safety regulations for mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs – and look at the capabilities of people who use them.

Transport secretary Sadiq Khan said:

“Evidence suggests that over the last few years there has been a steady increase in the number of mobility vehicles and, with an ageing population, this trend is likely to increase.

“On top of this, the technology for the vehicles themselves is becoming increasingly sophisticated. It is only right then that legislation is brought up to date to reflect these advancements.

“Mobility vehicles are a vital lifeline for many people and we want to ensure that everyone who needs one is able to use them safely and securely.”

The consultation – which will run until May 28 – sets out a number of ways in which safety might be improved including:

Changes to the legal definition of scooters;

Changes to the maximum permitted weight of scooters, and whether they should continue to carry only one person;

Changes to design speeds and permitted speeds for those vehicles which can be used on the highway;

Moving to mandatory, rather than voluntary insurance;

Changes to the registration arrangements, either through reforms to the current DVLA system or through a move to a more locally based scheme;

Improving the collection of data regarding the number and safety of these vehicles.

The consultation will cover both mobility scooters, which are intended to help people with reduced mobility, and powered wheelchairs for those who need help with everyday movement.