Afzal meeting Guide Dogs UK at Labour Conference
Afzal meeting Guide Dogs UK at Labour Conference

At Labour Party Conference, Afzal helped raised awareness of the danger that unsafe e-scooter use poses for people with sight loss when they met the charity Guide Dogs.

There are limited trials of rental e-scooters taking place in parts of the country to help the government decide whether they can be used legally more widely on our streets. However, there has been a boom in sales of privately-owned e-scooters which are not legal to use on public roads – yet their use is widespread.

YouGov polling produced for the charity Guide Dogs showed that 92% of people who had seen an e-scooter in the past 6 months, had seen one driven on the pavement. E-scooters driven unsafely on the pavement cause problems for many pedestrians, but people with sight loss who cannot see an e-scooter approach are particularly at risk.

Guide Dogs staff were attending the party conference to shed more light on the potentially dangerous use of e-scooters using their ‘beat the wheel’ quiz.

Afzal Khan MP is supporting Guide Dogs’ call for a public information campaign to stop the illegal use of e-scooters.

There’s also widespread support for Guide Dogs’ call to require e-scooters to make a continuous noise so that people with sight loss know they are coming, as well as applying limits on their weight and speed.

Afzal Khan MP, said: “I’m pleased to support Guide Dogs’ campaign to keep our streets safe for pedestrians, particularly those with visual impairments. I was shocked to learn that 68% of guide dog owners feel that e-scooters reduce their confidence to leave the house. I hope that better enforcements will be introduced to that people with disabilities are kept safe and have the confidence to go out independently.”

Chris Theobald, Senior Policy, Public Affairs and Campaigns Manager for Guide Dogs, said: “We have seen alarming reports of unsafe and anti-social behaviour, pedestrians injured in collisions, and illegal private e-scooter use increasing. 68% of guide dog owners have told us that e-scooters reduce their confidence to leave the house. It’s essential that pavements are kept clear and safe. That’s why we’re asking for better enforcement, controls on sales, and safety features if they are to be legalised.”

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