5 Apr 2019

E-scooters risky around blind New Zealanders - survey

7:13 am on 5 April 2019

Blind New Zealanders want e-scooters taken off footpaths as serious injuries and near misses rise.


E-scooter. Photo: 123RF

A recent survey of 200 people by the Blind Foundation found that going out for a walk was becoming increasingly dangerous due to e-scooters.

Auckland man Paul Brown said he spent most of his morning walk in the city down Queen Street dodging discarded scooters.

"I've had people move them out of the way for me... I've certainly knocked one over," he said.

Speed fiends whizzing past were also a problem, Mr Brown said.

He said his wife was once forced to pull him out of the path of an e-scooter rider who hadn't seen him while out with their three-year-old daughter.

Mr Brown said he wasn't sure what would have happened if his wife wasn't there.

Rebekah Gartner, from Hawke's Bay, said she lived in terror that her guide dog Gregan would be hit by one.

She said e-scooters had given him a fright on more than one occasion, and she feared for his safety.

Auckland woman Danielle said her bad eyesight meant she couldn't tell when an e-scooter was behind or beside her.

"People on e-scooters around where I live go really fast and it just kind of makes your heart drop when somebody like zooms past you, and because I don't see people very well I almost get like knocked away ... because people on the scooters ... I think they're just thinking about themselves."

Danielle said the scooters needed to be on the road or in cycle lanes, where pedestrians wouldn't be at risk.

Last year, Auckland mayor Phil Goff urged the Transport Ministry to consider allowing e-scooters into cycle lanes and imposing a speed limit for footpaths.

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