By Kevin Unitt 27/07 Updated: 30/07 07:16
CALLS have been made for mobility scooter users to take tests after a blind pedestrian and his guide dog were knocked down in the centre of Leamington.
Concerns have been raised that scooters – seen in increasing numbers on town centre streets and many travelling at speed – are becoming a growing menace.
It comes after resident Ian Foulds was knocked down at the junction of Spencer Street and Bath Street.
He told the paper: “My dog Grace was in full harness and I had just instructed her to go forward in the normal way when without warning we were hit full on by a lady in a electric buggy.
“I landed over the lady but she offered no assistance and Grace was separated from my in the roadway.
“It was very shocking and by nothing more than sheer good luck were we not injured. The next person might be.
“Training or even certification is, in my view, required for electric buggies to be used on our pavements.”
Leamington county councillor Penny Bould, herself a wheelchair user, believes a non compulsory test – equivalent to cycling proficiency – could be introduced.
She said: “While I would not wish to make the life of disabled people one ounce more difficult than it already is, something does need to be done.
“Some scooter users are not driving them in a responsible way.
“This was a shocking incident and I don't want to see anything like it happen again.
“Nationally there needs to be a system of some sort in place to prevent anyone just buying a scooter and driving it as the please on the pavements.”
Warwickshire County Council – the area's highways authority – said it was sorry to here about Mr Fould's incident.
But a spokesperson added there was no specific guidance for Warwickshire as to scooter use, only national guidelines in the Highway Code which it urged people to follow.
Among the rules it states scooter uses must 'give pedestrians priority and show consideration for other pavement users, particularly those with a hearing or visual impairment who may not be aware that you are there.'
It adds powered wheelchairs and scooters must not travel faster than 4mph on pavements or in pedestrian areas.
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