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Scooter death ‘shows the need for reforms’

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 12, 2013

  • James Grindlay, from Stretton. Died on June 23 2012 in Princess Way after his mobility scooter was in collision with a bus. With his daughter, Julie Cooper.

  • Fatal RTC - Princess Way, Stretton..Bus hit a pedestrian on a Motorbility Scooter..

  • Fatal RTC - Princess Way, Stretton..Bus hit a pedestrian on a Motorbility Scooter..

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THE accidental death of an 88-year-old mobility scooter rider in Burton is further evidence that use of the vehicles needs to be more heavily regulated, a safety campaigner has claimed. Caren Jephson has collected 3,000 signatures in a petition calling for mobility scooter riders to be forced to undergo training before buying the vehicles.

Mrs Jephson spoke after the inquest into the death of James Grindlay, of Almond Close, Stretton, who was killed when he rode his mobility scooter onto a road in nearby Princess Way and was hit by an oncoming bus.

“I know that new laws would save lives,” Mrs Jephson said.

She believes all riders should be made to complete a training course and that all mobility scooters should be fitted with identity numbers, similar to car registration places, so their riders can be traced.

“There are currently no laws to control these things,” Mrs Jephson said. “Anyone can buy one whenever they want.”

Mrs Jephson, who will visit Westminster later this month in an attempt to lobby the Government to introduce new safety laws, launched her campaign after her nine-year-old son, Isaac, was left badly bruised when he was hit by a mobility scooter in Derby.

“I am asking for proficiency testing,” she said. “Riders need to know simple road signs.

“They also need to carry identification, like car registration numbers, as many mobility scooter accidents, particularly in cities, are hit and runs.”

Mrs Jephson, who has also lodged an online petition on the Government’s website, said lives would ‘definitely be saved’ if there were laws controlling the use of mobility scooters.

She also wants to see them only made available to people who are registered disabled. “There are as many as bicycles now,” Mrs Jephson said.

Mr Grindlay died in June last year after he rode into a busy road without looking.

Margaret Jones, the coroner who presided over his inquest, said mobility scooter control needed to be ‘pressed forward’ and said she would write to the Government, citing Mr Grindlay’s tragic death as evidence of the need for tougher regulation.

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