Eyes and Independence
Have you as a Driver, ever waved someone on at a pedestrian crossing and then got annoyed because they didn’t go ahead?
Have you ever slowed down at a pedestrian crossing but not quite stopped as the pedestrian/s were quite close to the other side to step off anyway?
As an Orientation & Mobility specialist, it continues to amaze me when teaching a person with a vision impairment to cross a road, the amount of people that wave the person on through the windscreen of their car. It’s quite common too, that it still happens when the person is actually travelling with a mobility cane. That person is not likely to notice the ‘wave on’ and in fact, we teach the opposite for them to ‘wave the driver on’ so they are making a decision based on what they have listened to, are aware of and maybe what they can see a little of, to then gauge when they are safe to cross.
Do you know the rules at a Pedestrian crossing?
For the pedestrian, “when crossing the road or using a pedestrian refuge, traffic island or median, wait for a safe break in traffic before crossing each section of the road”.
We would then teach the pedestrian to:
As a driver, please take a little more care at those crossings and if the person is travelling with a cane, take into consideration what that implies. And just another note, a cane traveller may not be totally blind but their vision may be impaired to a degree where the cane can provide protection, alert the public and provide information of what’s ahead and/or below.
Please share this story with other drivers who may benefit from learning a little more about their responsibilities on the road and considerations to make for pedestrians, in particular those with a vision impairment.
Kerri Weaver is a passionate and caring service provider. She loves sharing her knowledge and skills to supporting those with vision impairment and additional disabilities. Kerri has worked in the field of disability for over 30 years. Her experience includes working in Tonga with a specialist team on multiple occasions.
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