Thoughtless drivers mean blind Cwmcarn man is dicing with death

South Wales Argus: ‘UNWANTED BARRIER’: Tony Harris, with his guide dog Neal, wants to raise awareness of the dangers of parking on pavements ‘UNWANTED BARRIER’: Tony Harris, with his guide dog Neal, wants to raise awareness of the dangers of parking on pavements

THOUGHTLESS behaviour by some Valleys drivers means a blind man and his guide dog are dicing with death every time they go out, he claimed.

Tony Harris, 53, is registered blind and says he often has to step into the road with guide dog Neal to make his way round cars parked on the pavement.

The Cwmcarn resident has lost count of the times drivers of lorries and cars have blocked his path to the bus stop and his church.

As he approaches such an obstacle, three-year-old labrador Neal stops and it’s up to Mr Harris to judge whether it’s safe for the pair to navigate their way round it, based solely on his hearing.

If it’s not, they have to wait for a member of the public to help them out.

“I have done that in the past, phoned the police and waited an hour and a half to get around a vehicle,” he said.

“We are told by the guide dog trainers only do the procedure if you feel safe.

Sometimes it can be very tricky, it’s a life-threatening thing. The only way this is going to stop is to hit drivers in the pocket and fine them,” he added.

Mr Harris said he encounters irresponsible drivers on his travels all over Gwent.

On one occasion he hit his head on a lorry’s wing mirror, and has squeezed his way round others making deliveries in Blackwood’s High Street.

A poll of 2,054 UK drivers by the charity Guide Dogs revealed 54% park on the pavement. Nearly five out of ten (48%) said they hadn’t thought about the possible problems they are causing to blind or partially sighted people. Andrea Gordon, engagement manager for Guide Dogs Cymru, said: “Too often people with sight loss are forced out into busy roads because an inconsiderate motorist has blocked the pavement. It’s an unwanted barrier to the freedom and independence a guide dog brings.

“We want local authorities to do whatever they can to address the problem,” she added. Mr Harris has reported a number of the car-parking incidents to Gwent Police.

A force spokeswoman said anyone experiencing issues with illegal parking should speak to the local Neighbourhood Policing Team.

Comments (7)

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2:59pm Wed 30 Jan 13

Truthbtold2013 says...

Lol this man don't even walk that street he lives the street above and walks past garages to go to pub or shops anything to get in the paper but I agree the parking in George street and park street is getting beyond
Lol this man don't even walk that street he lives the street above and walks past garages to go to pub or shops anything to get in the paper but I agree the parking in George street and park street is getting beyond Truthbtold2013
  • Score: 0

3:03pm Wed 30 Jan 13

Raymond Luxury-Yacht says...

Not only are these drivers thoughtless, they are also breaking the law by obstructing the highway. It's not only this gentleman's safety that is at risk but, elderly people on mobility scooters, young mothers with push chairs, and any pedestrian who cannot pass on the pavement, and who has to walk on the road. Maybe a few tickets could change people's minds as to where to park safely?
Not only are these drivers thoughtless, they are also breaking the law by obstructing the highway. It's not only this gentleman's safety that is at risk but, elderly people on mobility scooters, young mothers with push chairs, and any pedestrian who cannot pass on the pavement, and who has to walk on the road. Maybe a few tickets could change people's minds as to where to park safely? Raymond Luxury-Yacht
  • Score: 0

4:06pm Wed 30 Jan 13

tilleryvalleyboy says...

Ticketing these thoughtless drivers who illegally park on pavements is a waste of time ... clamp, remove a crush the vehicles I say ... that would make them think twice!
Ticketing these thoughtless drivers who illegally park on pavements is a waste of time ... clamp, remove a crush the vehicles I say ... that would make them think twice! tilleryvalleyboy
  • Score: 0

5:42pm Sat 2 Feb 13

Concerned parent expat says...

Yes indeed, the police need to start ticketing or clamping this area. Thoughtless parking costs lives. My father lives at the end of a cul de sac and the neighbors happily park in the road so it is impossible at times to turn your vehicle and are forced to reverse up the street. They all have a garage and driveway but always park in the road, pure laziness. This nearly cost my fathers life when he had a heart attack and the ambulance simply couldn't navigate around. Have the neighbors changed their habits since this event, no , just plain ignorant and lazy. About time our police and councils helped vulnerable people.
Yes indeed, the police need to start ticketing or clamping this area. Thoughtless parking costs lives. My father lives at the end of a cul de sac and the neighbors happily park in the road so it is impossible at times to turn your vehicle and are forced to reverse up the street. They all have a garage and driveway but always park in the road, pure laziness. This nearly cost my fathers life when he had a heart attack and the ambulance simply couldn't navigate around. Have the neighbors changed their habits since this event, no , just plain ignorant and lazy. About time our police and councils helped vulnerable people. Concerned parent expat
  • Score: 0

2:35am Mon 4 Feb 13

smokintheweed says...

Truthbtold2013 wrote:
Lol this man don't even walk that street he lives the street above and walks past garages to go to pub or shops anything to get in the paper but I agree the parking in George street and park street is getting beyond
Eh?
[quote][p][bold]Truthbtold2013[/bold] wrote: Lol this man don't even walk that street he lives the street above and walks past garages to go to pub or shops anything to get in the paper but I agree the parking in George street and park street is getting beyond[/p][/quote]Eh? smokintheweed
  • Score: 0

6:58am Mon 11 Feb 13

Robodad says...

Drag a key or dark coloured wax crayon along the side of vehicles parked on the pavement. Selfish drivers think more of their metal box than they do of the safety of pedestrians. A few good scratches and they will get the message.
Drag a key or dark coloured wax crayon along the side of vehicles parked on the pavement. Selfish drivers think more of their metal box than they do of the safety of pedestrians. A few good scratches and they will get the message. Robodad
  • Score: 0

1:48pm Mon 11 Feb 13

richie55 says...

Think back to the good old days when we had police officers and traffic wardens patrolling our streets who sorted out such matters. Now like most things in society no one gives a dam!
Think back to the good old days when we had police officers and traffic wardens patrolling our streets who sorted out such matters. Now like most things in society no one gives a dam! richie55
  • Score: 0

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