Benidorm’s Local Police joined the town hall and hotels in the clampdown on mobility scooters. Officers have spent the last two weeks clearing the streets and pavements of irregularly used scooters.
By-laws restricting them to the over-55s and the disabled were introduced in 2013.
They had become a holiday must-have for many British tourists, not for any practical purpose but for the fun of it. Madge, for years a favourite of the Benidorm series, should take much of the blame for the scooters’ popularity although as a pensioner – albeit bolshie and cantankerous, she would still be entitled to one.
Too often people who have had too much to drink turn streets and pavements into improvised racetracks and either come to grief themselves or endanger others, the police said. Mobility scooters caused 12 accidents in 2014, revealed Transport Councillor Jose Ramon Gonzalez de Zarate.
Last year there were six but after a street cleaner was injured, police swooped and imposed 27 fines over one August weekend. There was recent uproar when some hotels slapped a ban on mobility scooters.
“Sometimes the reception areas were jammed with them,” the coordinator of a leading group said. “There were accidents with other guests as well as broken windows and doors.”
The executive stressed that hotels know when a guest genuinely needs a mobility scooter because they reserve adapted rooms. “But the rest are hired by people who don’t want to walk or call a taxi.”