Posted 54d ago
Wherever you live in the UK, it’s likely that you’ve dodged an e-scooter on the pavement, driven around one on the road - or maybe you’ve even tried one out yourself.
E-scooters are becoming an increasingly common sight in cities across the nation.
But while they may be popular with commuters, they can be incredibly dangerous to us and our dogs.
Guide Dogs is now calling for safer regulations on e-scooters after dog owners have been injured, and young guide dogs have reported near misses.
Lead Regional Policy and Campaigns Manager at Guide Dogs, Clive Wood, said: “E-scooters are already having a negative impact on people with sight loss including guide dog owners, and the problem is only likely to get worse as e-scooter use grows.
“The quiet nature of e-scooters makes them hard for people with sight loss to detect and avoid, while some rental schemes allow e-scooter drivers to leave their e-scooters anywhere, creating an additional trip hazard for blind and partially sighted people if an e-scooter is left on the pavement.”
READ MORE: A day in the life of a guide dog
Blind and partially sighted people typically rely on hearing to navigate safely, which makes detecting and avoiding e-scooters almost impossible.
To combat this, Guide Dog proposes e-scooters be fitted with better safety features, such as audible warning.
“We already know that guide dog owners and other people with sight loss have been injured, either through a collision with an e-scooter driver or an abandoned e-scooter on the pavement,” Clive said.
“There have even been reports of near misses with our young trainee guide dogs.
“Even a near miss with an e-scooter can rob someone with a vision impairment of the confidence to go out independently, and we are concerned that as e-scooter use grows, more people with sight loss will be forced to change their route or avoid independent travel altogether.”
Government trials have seen a boom in the sale of private e-scooters - which are illegal on public roads - and correspondingly, an increase in reports of dangerous and anti-social use.
“We need to act now to make e-scooters safer, tackle dangerous and anti-social behaviour by e-scooter drivers and to stop sales of high-speed e-scooters,” Clive said.
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