Mobility scooter in hit and run

PUBLISHED: 10:53 30 October 2008 | UPDATED: 21:35 31 May 2010

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A BLIND pedestrian who was involved in a hit-and-run incident with a mobility scooter has appealed for other pavement users to be more considerate of visually impaired people. Manager of Saffron Walden-based charity Support 4 Sight, Paul Atkins, said he w

A BLIND pedestrian who was involved in a hit-and-run incident with a mobility scooter has appealed for other pavement users to be more considerate of visually impaired people.

Manager of Saffron Walden-based charity Support 4 Sight, Paul Atkins, said he was left "stranded" on his way to work when the driver of a mobility scooter ran over his white cane.

"It has really knocked my confidence," said Mr Atkins. "The white cane gives me my independence and I rely on it to be able to get to work.

"I had no idea the scooter was coming towards me and my cane went right underneath its wheels and broke in two."

The incident happened at the top of Saffron Walden High Street, near the war memorial, at 8.40am on Thursday (October 23).

"The driver of the mobility scooter carried on without saying a word and I was left standing there trying to inspect the damage caused to my cane," said Mr Atkins. "Fortunately a gentleman found me and walked me to my work on George Street. I didn't get his name, but I would like to thank him for his help."

Mr Atkins, who manages the charity which helps visually impaired people maintain their independence, has been using a white cane to get around the town since his guide dog retired.

"I swing the cane in front of me to detect if there are any objects in the way that I need to avoid," he said. "A guide dog can steer you around hazards, but using a cane requires a lot more concentration.

"In the town many of the pavements are narrow and I try not to swing the cane as wide. I would like people to be more considerate of the visually impaired who use the pavements so that a situation like this doesn't happen again.


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