The Malta Guide Dog Foundation, which trains blind people to become independent using white canes and guide dogs, has expressed a number of concerns about e-scooters.
The Foundation believes that the introduction of e-scooters in Malta can only be seen as a positive development if the rules governing their use are improved and properly enforced. So far, this has not been the case, as evidenced by the many complaints received from people who, in fact, dangerous driving and inadvertent abandonment of scooters cause inaccessibility, which can be serious for mobile blind people. I am walking around on my own with the help of a white cane and a guide dog.”
The Foundation said it “fully supports the recent position taken by Malta’s many local councils against the inappropriate use of scooters”.
In order to mitigate and possibly eliminate this negative impact on blind people, the Malta Guide Dog Foundation has highlighted a number of points that urgently need to be addressed.
“Since scooters are silent, they must emit acoustic signals such as honking their horns and slow down when approaching a visually impaired person with the help of a white cane or guide dog,” the foundation said.
“Scooters should not be carelessly left on sidewalks or pedestrian areas to block the road and unfortunately add to the many other obstacles that already exist.”
The foundation also said authorities need to step up enforcement and ensure that scooter use does not interfere with the safety and independence of blind people.
“If these points are not addressed quickly, more and more blind people are at risk of becoming unwilling to go out alone! Such people have achieved more, and their independence in mobility is only at risk of being lost.”
https://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2022-08-10/local-news/Dangerous-driving-by-e-scooters-represents-serious-danger-to-visually-impaired-foundation-6736245108 Dangerous driving by e-scooter users ‘represents serious danger for blind people’ – Foundation