Wantage mobility scooter users train to become the safest in the county

Wantage mobility scooter users are at the vanguard of a safety scheme that could soon be rolled out elsewhere in Oxfordshire.

In the five years to December 2017, in Oxfordshire there were 24 people injured while using mobility scooters, and one death.

Nationally, during the same period, 859 mobility scooter users were injured, and there were 41 deaths.

Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service is holding a driver training scheme in Wantage that if successful could be replicated in other parts of the county.

The Wantage workshops aim to raise awareness of the issues users face – such as pavement obstructions, and judging when it is safe to proceed on pedestrian crossings – and improve their driving skills.

Participants get to meet scooter manufacturers to discuss design and safety features, whilst an obstacle course allows them to put driving theory into practice.

Sean Mienie, from Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service, said:

“At the county council, we aim to help people live safe, healthy lives and play an active part in their community. These workshops will support mobility scooter users in understanding their responsibilities to the public and teach them how to drive in a safe manner. It’s also the perfect way to make new friends.”

Talking about his vision for the future, Sean added: “I hope this group of mobility scooter users increases so that we can educate more people and learn from their experiences.

“This could be a model for each town or village in our county. It is a fantastic initiative and opportunity. The users enjoy meeting new people and attending the workshops."

Locals are asked to support the scheme by being more considerate, especially in their parking and driving.

The next training workshop takes place at Wantage Fire Station on Tuesday 23 October between 2:30pm to 4pm.

For more information about the mobility scooter training workshops email Sean.Mienie@Oxfordshire.gov.uk or phone 07469 937 982.