Car parking on pavements 'an everyday nightmare' for blind pedestrians
Nearly half of all drivers in the South West admit they park their cars on pavements, but many of them don’t think about the danger they pose to blind or partially sighted people.
A new YouGov poll commissioned by Guide Dogs revealed that 49% of drivers said they had parked on a pavement, but 45% of those people hadn't thought about the impact on people with sight loss.
The poll also shows that many pavement parkers in the South West also haven’t thought about the possible risk they pose to other vulnerable road users like the elderly (48%) and adults with prams (29%).
Guide Dogs is now calling for councils to crack down on pavement parking and mobility team manager for the South West region, Alun Gwernan-Jones, said: “Cars parked on pavements are an everyday nightmare for blind and partially sighted people, as well as other vulnerable pedestrians.
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"Imagine how terrifying it is to step into a road when you can’t see on-coming traffic. Too often people with sight loss are forced out into busy roads because an inconsiderate motorist has blocked the pavement.
"It’s an unwanted barrier to the freedom and independence a guide dog brings. I wish that councils in our area would do more to enforce regulations penalising drivers who park on pavements.”
Taunton guide dog owner and district councillor Richard Lees said: “I rely on my guide dog to get me to work each day.
"It is very frustrating when I encounter vehicles parked on pavements forcing me to walk in the road. This is dangerous not only for blind people but also for others. Unfortunately it happens very frequently. ”
Older drivers appear to be the most considerate according to the survey. More than half (54%) of drivers aged 55 and over said they never park on the pavement, compared with just 38% of 18-24-year-old drivers.
Of those drivers who were pavement parkers, just 27% of 18 to 24-year-olds said they had thought about the possible risks for blind or partially sighted people, compared with 66% aged 55 and over.
The survey also showed that almost a third of drivers (31%) don’t think parking on the pavement constitutes dangerous driving and two thirds (67%) think parking on double yellow lines is worse than parking on the pavement.