Who was to blame? The shop or the customer?

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Who was to blame? The shop or the customer?

Postby TeresaFoodie » September 26th, 2019, 7:08 pm

My working world of insurance claims seems to have followed me home today when I witnessed a rather unfortunate incident.

Or was it unfortunate? A bit silly? Or totally unavoidable with no one person really to blame?

I was in the queue for groceries in our tiny Co-op, stood in the booze and soft drinks aisle, waiting my turn. The queue seemed rather long. The reason was half of the queue was made longer by a gentleman in a mobility scooter, and a rather large one at that. I am quite familiar with the usual faces in there now, quite often local shoppers with mobility restrictions, where the staff are absolutely happy to help wherever they can. Never seen him before though. This scooter was like a tank in size. As the man heard 'Who's next please?' he powered up and moved over to the till area. Then things happened in slow motion...

He was served by a newish and fairly young 'rooky' member of staff. For whatever reason the man decided to get out of his scooter to pack his shopping. I think he must have left the brakes off, or left it in gear, whatever it was his scooter started to head off on its own across the shop floor. The man, in his attempts to recover it, stumbled over his own feet and eventually came crashing down with it into the side of a very tall, free standing display of wine bottles.

There was nobody close enough to help him. It just happened. Wine and smashed glass everywhere. The man was unhurt but obviously shaken up. The staff were immediately in attendance, clearing up the mess, ensuring no other customers strayed into the danger zone.

I got thinking. Is anyone insured to cover such incidents? As far as I know, you don't need a licence or insurance to use a scooter of that kind. Perhaps if you are going to use it on the road? My nan had one, I know she didn't have cover. Are the shop management going to rethink their precarious display areas, or is this such a rarity it wouldn't be worth the effort? I mean, nobody was hurt, luckily, but they could have been. Do these scooter come with a driving test? What if a toddler had been in its path? There are always kids in there being opposite a school and nursery. Would they make him pay damage costs?

Do I need to get out more? Are the effects of gloss paint inhalation getting to me? :lol:
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Re: Who was to blame? The shop or the customer?

Postby earthmaiden » September 26th, 2019, 9:51 pm

Gosh, that's an interesting one and what a ghastly accident. I personally think they should be insured and licensed or at least there should be some kind of law so that anyone putting others at risk can be reprimanded. It often horrifies me to think that my late MIL might have had one in her 90's. She had never driven a car, was lethal with her walker and her sight was failing. People I see around often appear to be in similar circumstances - or else scooting along so fast you barely have time to jump out of the way. They are such a great invention, I would hate to take away anyone's freedom but the safety of others has to be considered.

I expect the Coop will waiver the cost - but may rethink their displays or insist that staff help people with large scooters! I have to say, that some shop displays are done very stupidly, I was in a shop (can't remember which one) recently where wine was piled up precariously in flimsy boxes, I would be amazed if it all survived.
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Re: Who was to blame? The shop or the customer?

Postby aero280 » September 26th, 2019, 11:22 pm

We had an arrogant disabled lady drive a mobility scooter down the footpath. She saw the barriers and shouted "Move those things and get out my way!!" Then she drove through the barriers and into the trench. Fire brigade and ambulance got her out and off to hospital.

Her argument was that she had an absolute right to drive along the footpath as she used the route every day and disabled people should have the right to go anywhere. :o I understand that her family got her into a home and removed the scooter from her.

She should have the right to go anywhere an able bodied person could, but not into a properly signed and guarded safety zone.
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Re: Who was to blame? The shop or the customer?

Postby TeresaFoodie » September 27th, 2019, 7:06 am

I have just remembered a police documentary I was watching recently. One chap well past retirement age was still driving a car totally against the wishes of his family who knew he had been involved in so many near misses, but he refused to give his car up. Until one day he hit a motorcyclist off the road, almost killed him. He was given a warning and I think asked to sit a retest, but that was the clincher for him and he took himself off the road.

We have an amazing young chap round here. He is like my wheelchair using friend, always polite and courteous and with a smile on his face dispute his situation. Whilst my friend self propels, he moves his wheelchair with little touch pads each side of his face using his cheeks. An amazing man. Unlike the other lady I have seen round here who glares and shouts obseneties at you if you so much as dare think about being on the same footpath as her.
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Re: Who was to blame? The shop or the customer?

Postby Meganthemog » September 27th, 2019, 9:34 am

This did make me chuckle. Some years ago I had a friend who hired a mobility scooter to use in our shopping mall. She drove off to do her shopping and went into BHS, after a couple of turns around the floor she headed out of the door to go into M&S. As she went up one of the aisles she was aware of some sort of commotion behind her and a lot of shouting - but she continued as it wasn't anything to do with her - was it? She was eventually stopped by a couple of security guards who then untangled a whole rail of clothes from her scooter and wheeled it back to BHS. She was advised that maybe she should get someone to push her in a wheelchair next time! :lol: :lol:
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Re: Who was to blame? The shop or the customer?

Postby Gruney » September 27th, 2019, 9:36 am

Excellent! :lol: :lol:
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Re: Who was to blame? The shop or the customer?

Postby scullion » September 27th, 2019, 10:04 am

aero280 wrote:We had an arrogant disabled lady drive a mobility scooter down the footpath

there are some real anomalies that need a bit of thought, i think.
the driving of those on the footpath and bmx bikes. my son took one of the latter to ride to uni from his digs. unfortunately they are classed as a toy so are not supposed to be ridden on the road but as they are a bike, can't be ridden on the path either. a unicycle would have been ok.
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Re: Who was to blame? The shop or the customer?

Postby TeresaFoodie » September 27th, 2019, 11:46 am

The BHS tale! :lol: And the unicycle one scullion just shows you how weird the rules of the land can be. :rolleyes:
I retold the Co-op tale to my mum earlier. She laughed, remembering a time she had her leg in plaster cast after an Achilles op, her friend booked her a mobility scooter for the day and took her shopping. They were browsing Wilko's, my mum with her leg sticking out in front, when she misjudged the width of the aisle, turned around and took out a whole stacked shelf of tin cans. While she sat there surrounded by tumbling tins, hoping that the ground would swallow her up, her mate's in hysterics, shouting 'Oh, Min! (Mum's nickname from school) I can't take you anywhere!' :lol:
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Re: Who was to blame? The shop or the customer?

Postby Ratatouille » September 27th, 2019, 12:31 pm

We had a very good friend who had severe mobility problems due to MS. He had a powered mobility scooter but was told by the local police that he couldn't use it on the pavement so he had to go on the road . He was injured several times by impatient other road users and it ended when he was so badly injured he ended up with a broken skull and in intensive care. The bus driver who caused the accident was not charged. He claimed that Rob could not be seen from the bus cab.

Fortunately he had a wide circle of very good friends who organised a rota to accompany him when he wanted/needed to go out and his amasing wife and her and his, former, employer, IBM, organised a people carrier which we named the Robmobile.
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Re: Who was to blame? The shop or the customer?

Postby miss mouse » September 29th, 2019, 2:02 pm

Ratatouille wrote: He had a powered mobility scooter but was told by the local police that he couldn't use it on the pavement so he had to go on the road


That surprises me, there are swarms of them all over the pavements in the places I haunt. There should be a dedicated protected area for them on the road but all UK road policy protects driver interests, this is changing a little now.
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Re: Who was to blame? The shop or the customer?

Postby TeresaFoodie » September 29th, 2019, 2:52 pm

My nan, bless her, lovely lady and the kindest person you'll meet. She never took a driving test, so when my granddad passed away, her only option in her bad health was to buy a mobility scooter. My mum will tell you the time they took it out on its maiden voyage up to the local parade of shops which had an underpass to avoid a busy road. My nan decided to cross the road, totally unaware of the dangers of passing lorries and other traffic. It is a wonder she did not get flattened! My mum gave her a harsh telling off after that one!
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Re: Who was to blame? The shop or the customer?

Postby Grasshopper » September 29th, 2019, 8:01 pm

Oh dear - quite a few mishaps in this thread.
Not everybode on mobility aids are lovely tho - I was in a branch of Morrissons once, and a bloke in one of them was quite nasty, voicing threats and suchlike.
What a moaning minny!
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Re: Who was to blame? The shop or the customer?

Postby miss mouse » September 29th, 2019, 8:55 pm

Grasshopper wrote:Not everybode on mobility aids are lovely tho


No. Horrible young people morph into horrible old people.
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Re: Who was to blame? The shop or the customer?

Postby wargarden » September 30th, 2019, 4:14 am

i seen both good and bad mobility scooter drivers. but the cyclist and motored scooter driver are worse knocking people down or in case cyclist
jumping red lights. soon or later i expect a car will hit all of the above. It will not be the cars fault. But they will be blamed. At least with mobility scooters they speed limited.
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Re: Who was to blame? The shop or the customer?

Postby TeresaFoodie » September 30th, 2019, 12:18 pm

I have to say in the past year seeing all sorts of road accidents in this job we have had just one involving a cyclist and that was not his fault. None involving mobility scooters.

Also, a road traffic accident is treated exactly the same as any other crime where there is one or more victims, regardless of the vehicle or method of transport that they are using. Evidence, statements, witnesses, dash cam, CCTV etc all gathered and documented in order to ascertain who was at fault. At least, that is what happens if it is done correctly and to the law. I saw on FB recently that Herts Police had released dash cam footage of a motor cyclist injured when he was hit by a car. On the face of it, it could have been taken that the driver of the larger vehicle was at fault, dash cam footage proved otherwise and the motorcyclist was charged with reckless driving whilst over the legal alcohol limit. The footage was released to reinforce the dangers of driving ANY vehicle whilst UTI. It also made my mind up that when I get myself back on the road I will be getting front and rear cameras in my car! Absolutely invaluable!
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Re: Who was to blame? The shop or the customer?

Postby Seatallan » September 30th, 2019, 12:36 pm

Have to say I'm with Wargarden on cyclists who jump red lights. Used to happen frequently on the pedestrian crossing near where we lived previously. I remember one time in particular when a very aggressive cyclist not only nearly mowed us down but gave us some extremely unsavory lip when we remonstrated. I do realise, however, that the majority of cyclists are far more courteous road users.

As for mobility scooters...my father had one and was lethal with it. I was most relieved when he became too frail to use it. :)
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Re: Who was to blame? The shop or the customer?

Postby TeresaFoodie » September 30th, 2019, 1:01 pm

Yes, some cyclists think they own the road and are invinsible...

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/vid ... ndon-video
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Re: Who was to blame? The shop or the customer?

Postby earthmaiden » September 30th, 2019, 3:18 pm

So much stress and anger in the world, what a shame we can't all calm down.

Whilst all RTCs might be treated in the same way, the original post highlighted the perils of mobility scooters off the road (where, in the UK at least), they are allowed to roam freely and sometimes operated by people who one might question if fit to do so for a multitude of reasons (I had to jump out of the way of two women of about my age who were having a race at a local shopping centre the other day :evil:). I do think there should be some rules.

As for dash cams, the trouble is they show up one's own misdemeanors as well as those of other drivers ... :|.
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Re: Who was to blame? The shop or the customer?

Postby Seatallan » September 30th, 2019, 4:16 pm

earthmaiden wrote:So much stress and anger in the world, what a shame we can't all calm down.


Absolutely.

Going off on a bit of a tangent, it never fails to amaze me how seemingly respectable people can behave so badly. We encountered an example only yesterday. We were on our way back from dear friend's post-wedding reception bash and had booked seats on the train. It's one of those cross-country services that tends to get very busy especially on a Sunday. If you don't book seats you generally have to stand in the vestibule all the way. Anyway, we boarded the train to discover a couple sitting in our reserved seats (which were marked as reserved from Reading to Wolverhampton, the point where we change trains). We politely explained these were our reserved seats, expecting that- as usually happens- they'd move with a good grace, but not a bit of it! They huffed and puffed, the male half of the couple said he didn't see why they should move when they'd been sitting there for ages and when they did finally give in they very ostentatiously took ages moving their bits and pieces. I thanked them both politely as they passed me, and the female half glared at me and tutted very loudly under her breath. People sitting nearby were obviously thoroughly entertained and the lady in the seat opposite actually commented on how rude they were being. Obviously, had they been elderly or obviously incapacitated in some way, or had there been other free seats, we'd not have asked them to move but they were able-bodied, youngish and very obviously 'respectably middle class'. I have to confess that Mr S and I made rude gestures behind their backs when they left the train a couple of stops later. I'd just loved to have known how they would have reacted if someone had been sitting in a seat they'd reserved. Bet you'd have never heard the end of it. :rolleyes:
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Re: Who was to blame? The shop or the customer?

Postby miss mouse » October 3rd, 2019, 7:13 am

Seatallan wrote: Obviously, had they been elderly or obviously incapacitated in some way, or had there been other free seats, we'd not have asked them to move but they were able-bodied, youngish and very obviously 'respectably middle class'.


Why not? You booked the seats, they could have done the same. We got the train from Bangor to London to find grumpy old women sitting in our booked seats, we weren't going to stand for three hours and had paid our 50p each to book.
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Re: Who was to blame? The shop or the customer?

Postby earthmaiden » October 3rd, 2019, 7:32 am

Always awkward when your seats are reserved on a crowded train. I must admit I have often sat in seats reserved from a station further up the line, it's surprising how often no-one comes to claim them when the train arrives at said station but of course you should give up the seat.
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Re: Who was to blame? The shop or the customer?

Postby miss mouse » October 3rd, 2019, 9:06 am

earthmaiden wrote: I must admit I have often sat in seats reserved from a station further up the line, it's surprising how often no-one comes to claim them when the train arrives at said station


So have I and also give it up gracefully of course when the real owner shows up. Yes it is odd how often the seat is not claimed.
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Re: Who was to blame? The shop or the customer?

Postby smitch » October 3rd, 2019, 12:39 pm

I don't 'look' like someone with a chronic health condition. However, sometimes I'm in too much pain to stand on public transport, even if it is only a short journey. Our local travel board, TfGM launched a scheme last year, so people with unseen health conditions can get a badge that says 'please offer me a seat'.

It is voluntary and non-enforceable, but even so my experience has been awful at times. I've had people make comments and glare at me if I sit in one of the front seats on the bus and most people ignore my request to sit down. The worst two were when a bus driver called me 'lazy' for wanting to travel 3 stops (down quite a long road) on the bus and another time on my train commute home.

The train is meant to be 6 carriages but is always short-formed to 3. The platform was really busy, but I'd been lucky and the train door ended up right where I was standing- I'd been on the platform ages and had my pick of where to stand. Everyone alighted and I was one of the first on the train, sitting on one of the flip down seats in the vestibule outside the 1st class compartment as I knew the train would be busy and didn't want to get stuck further down the carriage. A woman with loads of luggage and a dog (at peak time) shoved her way on and started ranting at me that she'd been there first and how selfish I was that I'd pushed in and 'stolen' her seat (it wasn't reserved). Someone else offered her their seat, which she declined, saying she'd 'just have to stand because of selfish people' and muttered like that for the entire 15 minute journey. When I got off at the first stop, she started shouting that I shouldn't have sat down if I was going such a short distance.

My badge was very visible and I was really upset. Sometimes I just can't face speaking up and don't feel like I have to explain myself to strangers.

Regarding the reserved seats, I always ask people to move but like others have had mixed responses. I try really hard not to judge people based on their appearance but some people are just rude.
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Re: Who was to blame? The shop or the customer?

Postby Seatallan » October 3rd, 2019, 12:42 pm

miss mouse wrote: earthmaiden wrote:
I must admit I have often sat in seats reserved from a station further up the line, it's surprising how often no-one comes to claim them when the train arrives at said station



So have I and also give it up gracefully of course when the real owner shows up. Yes it is odd how often the seat is not claimed.


Absolutely. I quite understand why someone would sit in the empty seat. I've done it too. But as you say, the form is to give it up gracefully if the person who has booked the seat shows up, not argue about it and treat the real owners as if they're the problem. I was gob-smacked by their attitude (and it isn't often I'm gob-smacked! :) ).
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Re: Who was to blame? The shop or the customer?

Postby earthmaiden » October 3rd, 2019, 12:58 pm

Seems to me there's a whole section of the community who thinks that everything is laid on for their convenience. The number of people who have to be asked to move bags from spare seats in full public transport, the number of people I see on buses sitting on the aisle side of a seat so that no-one can sit next to them and so on. No glimmer of wondering how others might like to be treated. It was refreshing, when I used to get a packed train home to find that men often offered me their seat. As I was quite able and had been sitting all day I refused graciously - that was over 15 years ago and surprising then, I wonder if it would happen now (I might add that I was aged around 50 so neither young and pretty nor decrepit!).
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Re: Who was to blame? The shop or the customer?

Postby Seatallan » October 3rd, 2019, 3:38 pm

earthmaiden wrote:The number of people who have to be asked to move bags from spare seats in full public transport,


Yes, that's another thing that irritates me. It isn't restricted to the UK either- when we caught the train from Munich to Salzburg recently for friend's wedding there was a couple opposite us who had done exactly that. Not only had they placed bags on the seats opposite to them (they were occupying one of those 4-seater units) they'd placed two large suitcases so as to block access both to the two seats opposite us and part of the aisle. We managed to squeeze in to the other two seats (train was packed) but no one could get to the seats opposite. What was most infuriating was that I had to move the aisle-blocking suitcase every time someone needed to pass down the carriage and everyone clearly thought we were the owners of said suitcases (so were glaring and tutting at us). The guilty couple were ostentatiously staring into the middle distance and pretending it was nothing to do with them.

Dear me- we've encountered more than our share of bad train behaviour in recent weeks haven't we? :lol:
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