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2012-07-31 09:58

MOBILITY SCOOTER CRASH: Although it seems unlikely, these little vehicles can cause quite a bit of damage, as Darren Wells found out after reversing into a shop window.

Able-bodied Darren Wells caused quite an unordinary scene after crashing into a shop window with a mobility scooter. Intoxicated Wells mistook the reverse gear for forward and ploughed through the window at 10km/h, reported London Daily Mail.

The 37 year old bought the vehicle, worth R700, because he couldn’t afford a car. However his decision to use the scooter instead of walking to the nearby shop has resulted in him getting a driving ban for 17 months.

According to the London Daily Mail, Wells had been at a friend's funeral wake the previous night and woke up slightly under the weather. Ironically, the wake was for the man whom Wells bought the mobility scooter from a month previously.


In an attempt to make amends, he offered to pay for the damages at the scene. “I offered to pay him there and then, but he said he needed a crime reference number for his insurance. So I got nicked.”

During his trial he was asked how fast the scooter could go, he told the court: “It ain’t ready for the Grand Prix yet.”

A pivotal point in the case was based on whether or not a mobility scooter was classed as mechanically propelled under the Road Traffic Act, and if Wells qualified for one under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act.


Wells, an alcoholic, was lucky enough to avoid a being locked up as he faced jail after breaching a 12-month suspended sentence for assaulting a police officer. However magistrates said it “would not be in his interest to send him to prison”.

The London Daily Mail reported Chairwoman of the bench, Angela Glancy saying: “We are satisfied the scooter was not being used in accordance with legislation.

“If you are caught driving, including the mobility scooter, you will go to prison.”

Wells has been banned from driving for 17 months provided he undertakes a drunk driving awareness programme. He has also been ordered to pay R2500 in compensation to the shop owner on top of a R2000 fine and costs.

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