...AND ANOTHER THING: Mobility scooters - marvellous or menace?

It’s with a wry smile that we received details from Notts County Council this week to say that driving lessons are being offered for those toying with the idea of buying a mobility scooter.

For something that reaches a tyre-melting top speed of about 6mph, it initially seemed to be a pretty pointless exercise.

But once we’d stopped laughing, it got me thinking.

I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve had my foot run over, or taken a wire basket in the groin by old-boy racers weaving in and out of pedestrians like a Monaco chicane.

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And what makes matters worse is they usually tell me it’s my own fault, or more worrying still, they don’t even realise and go about their business, fully focussed on setting a new lap record.

They are, after all, designed for those who are unable to walk or don’t drive. A freedom machine to the potentially housebound and a reasonably-priced idea for those who want independence.

But a quick trawl through Google tells me that there were 164 accidents involving mobility scooters last year, including five deaths.

They’re just the ones reported.

How many of you have had your toes almost taken off by a pensioner who thinks he’s in pole position?

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One south coast MP has gone as far as calling for compulsory tests before these pavement predators do more damage.

But while you need eyes in the back of your head just walking down the street, it’s often no safer on the roads.

Some are road legal, but seeing one holding up a mile of traffic and tackling busy roundabouts is beyond ridiculous (and putting a waterproof canopy over your machine does not automatically make it a car, either).

So like those teenagers you see on their 50cc pedal-and-pop mopeds, maybe L-plates should be a requirement until they’ve proved they can ride safely.

At least I’d know to stand behind the crash barriers.

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