If you have never scooted a particular route before, we strongly advise you to go on a ‘test run’ by yourself first. This way, you can better spot potential problems for any children who may attempt the route – such as busy roads or steep hills – and perhaps find an alternative way if necessary.
It isn’t just the route that may pose safety issues for scooter users! That’s because the scooter itself needs to be in tip-top shape for the school run.
Remember to regularly perform the ‘L’ check on any scooter that you or a child is set to ride to school. This is so-called because it involves starting at the top of the ‘L’ and working your way down, and then along.
Pay particular attention to the handlebars – they should be set at the appropriate height, and the clamp holding them needs to be tight.
The wheels should also be fully attached and spin freely, the brakes securely bolted and the folding mechanism completely locked in the riding position. You should be mindful, too, of any missing or badly damaged parts.
One of the biggest issues about scooter use in the UK is that it isn’t even legally clear where you can and cannot scoot. The pavements section of the Highways Act, for example, hasn’t been updated since 1835.
You will therefore need to encourage your child to be mindful of other pavement users when scooting. You won’t want them to frighten or inconvenience anyone else walking along the pavement. Putting a bell on your child’s scooter could be handy so that they can alert anyone on the pavement that they are fast approaching.
Another vital tip is to not use a scooter on the road! That should include your child stopping and getting off their scooter before crossing the road.
Even if the school run isn’t that long, riding on a scooter means being much more exposed to the elements than would be the case if you were in a car.
So even if it isn’t wet, we would suggest that you bring a raincoat with you. A bottle of water can also be invaluable for keeping yourself hydrated – and again, these things equally apply to any child on their own scooter.
Finally, you and your children should also wear helmets when scooting. This especially applies for young children, but of course, parental influence is vital here. If you ride your own scooter at the same time as your kids ride theirs, always wearing a helmet enables you to set a great example!
Remember that above all, scooting is supposed to be fun – for all of you! So, don’t take it too seriously. Follow the above scooter safety tips, and you can concentrate fully on enjoying you and your kids’ scooter ride to school each morning.