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:
- Stand at the edge of the crossing and wait for the traffic to stop.
- Cross when the traffic has come to a complete stop.
- If there is more than one lane to cross, be sure that all approaching traffic has seen you.
- Traffic must give way to you once you have a foot on the crossing.
- Remember to be aware of the traffic around you and make sure vehicles have stopped before you cross the road.
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.