Revving up for some scooter madness
THERE S a relative of mine who never learned to drive a car, always preferring to go by bicycle, writes John Adams. But as age struggled to catch up with her, she did take to using a mobility scooter at times, and she proved to be a real dare-devil of the
THERE'S a relative of mine who never learned to drive a car, always preferring to go by bicycle, writes John Adams.
But as age struggled to catch up with her, she did take to using a mobility scooter at times, and she proved to be a real dare-devil of the pavements.
If one quickly looked up in response to a sudden whirring noise, the blur flashing across one's field of vision was likely to be her.
So it came as no surprise to me to learn this week that the faceless European Union is about to classify mobility scooters in the same league as F1 racing cars. Perhaps they had heard about my relative.
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But seriously, the proposal has alarmed many people. One British charity, along with The Mobility Bureau, is appealing for common sense to prevail.
If the silver-topped brigade's scooters are reclassified, EU member states will have to impose a 10 per cent import tax on the machines, which many businesses will have to pass on to their disabled customers who, of course, are among the poorest in society.
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With the average scooter costing �2,500, that means an extra �250 on the bill.
Professor Stephen Hawking, who is perhaps the best known disabled person in the world, is appalled by the possible tax hike.
He has been quoted as saying: "A mobility scooter is literally a life line - without it we are locked out further from the world around us. To tax the most disadvantaged in society in this way is simply disgraceful."
The European Union's customs code committee is meeting this week to formalise into law - it was introduced informally in 2007 - the reclassification of mobility scooters from "carriages for the disabled" to "motor vehicles for the transport of persons".
You would have thought they would have something better to do with their time. But their shameful work could be completed by Friday.
Keeping to the topic of four wheels, there must be an awful lot of young men - and perhaps not so young - whose hearts sank if they read the outcome of a survey.
Two thousand women were asked their opinion about men and their motors. Nearly nine of out 10 of them said they were unimpressed by the make and model of a man's car. So much for all that time and money lavished on motors to catch the ladies' attention.
Seven out of 10 women said they were much more interested in a man's driving ability, with 83 per cent of them saying a chap's dodgy driving could end up getting him dumped. The young Turks of the road should take note.
Switching from a note to a coin, have you joined the new national game of examining your small change?
I have been unable to resist the temptation to make some easy money since reading that a dealer is offering to pay �50 for each 20p without a date on it. Between 50,000 and 200,000 of them were minted and circulated before the mistake was spotted. Sadly, I've had no luck so far.