I was riding my bike down a main road near to where I live. At a junction to my left there was a stationary white van and as I came closer I could see the driver waving his arms about like a mad man. I slowed down thinking there must surely be something wrong.
As I did, a mobility scooter appeared from the off side of the van, crossed the main road and headed up onto the pavement on the other side of the road. If it were not for the van driver and his frantic warning I could easily have hit this mobility scooter.
My question is what rights do mobility scooters have compared to road users who take a test and hold a licence? Would I have been the one at fault if I’d have hit the mobility scooter and its driver?
In this context a mobility scooter driver has the same rights as everyone else has on the road. If you were somehow negligent in knocking them off and hurting them then they could claim damages from you. As for this particular mobility scooter driver its sounds like he or she is a something of a complete idiot with a fundamental disregard for their own safety – not to mention everyone else’s.
Just because he/she drives a mobility scooter does not give them an air tight defence to get away scot-free if they were to be involved in an accident in which you ran into them. The Highway Code is particularly helpful in this respect (users of powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters – rules 36 to 46).
While the Highway Code is not, in itself, ‘law’ (although it does quote specific statutes) it is often referred to by judges and used for guidance in such cases. Many of the Highway Code’s rules are in fact legal requirements so if they’re disobeyed a criminal offence is then committed. From what you have said I do not think you would have been at fault if you had hit the scooter in this particular instance. S/he pulled out from behind a parked van without looking.
Andrew has been riding motorcycles since he was 10 years old and currently rides a ZZR1400 as his daily commuter whether it is sunny or snowing. In addition, he is currently restoring an old Honda CB750 K1. Andrew practices across all areas of motorcycle law, with his practice involving both civil claims and motoring defence work.