Last month we contacted Kiwis who are blind or have low vision and living in cities where e-scooter hire programmes are currently on trial, to get a sense of what you think about them being used on our footpaths.
An impressive 210 people responded to our request to share your opinion and experiences related to e-scooters on footpaths, and many of you had stories to tell.
We shared our belief that footpaths should be prioritised as safe and accessible for pedestrians, and that therefore e-scooters should be used on cycle paths or the road, not the footpath, to ensure pedestrian safety.
Of the 210 responses: 184 respondents (88%) agreed with us, five respondents (2%) said they didn’t, and 21 respondents (10%) said they agreed with us to some extent.
Your comments told us the most frequent concern was how e-scooters could be found parked across footpaths, creating a potential trip hazard. This was followed by the desire to see e-scooters emit a noise, and recognition that the potential for harm could be reduced if e-scooters were limited to walking speed.
Blind Foundation’s Access and Awareness Advisor, Chris Orr, said: “The results of our survey have provided us with data and rich insights, particularly from your comments, that are enabling us to have better informed conversations with parties involved in decision-making around e-scooter use as well as to share our view through national media.”
A number of people who participated in the survey also lent their voice to coverage in the media. See highlights through these news links:
Chris shared that following the results, the Blind Foundation has been talking with e-scooter hire service providers to find common ground and we are using these insights to support our case with local and central government.
If you have a different view, or you would like to do more, remember that writing to your local mayor to ask them to take action is also an option you can pursue.
“Thank you to those of you who shared your voice on this topic, it has enabled us to bring our voices together to strengthen our advocacy efforts,” Chris said.