Blind Pedestrians Endangered By Pavement Cyclists

By BethPH Last edited 45 months ago
Blind Pedestrians Endangered By Pavement Cyclists

guide dogCyclists who jump red lights at pedestrian crossings or cycle on the pavement are putting the blind and their guide dogs at risk, a survey has revealed.

The survey, by the Guide Dogs organisation, asked London's guide dog owners about their experiences and found out of 33 who responded, 14 had been involved in collisions while 25 had had a near miss. The charity wants cyclists to follow five rules to keep blind pedestrians and their guide dogs safe:

  1. Pay attention — look to see if the guide dog and owner, or person with a cane are waiting to cross. Remember that they can’t always see or hear you.
  2. If you see the guide dog and owner or person with a cane waiting to cross, use your bell or call out to let them know you’re there.
  3. If the guide dog and owner or cane user are already crossing the road, please stop and wait until they've reached the other side.
  4. Do not cycle up behind or around the guide dog and owner, no matter how much space you think you’ve given them. The dog may be startled and get confused.
  5. If you need to use the pavement for any reason, please dismount. Bumping off the kerb onto the road can scare and confuse the guide dog.

The campaign is supported by Transport for London (TfL) and The London Cycling Campaign. The LCC's Charlie Lloyd said:

"People riding bikes in London have a duty of care to look out for every other road user. Any crash or a close pass which frightens or intimidates a pedestrian is unacceptable. Far worse when that person is blind, partially sighted or in any was less able than we are."

TfL recently released plans for cycle quietways and new segregated lanes in the capital. Last year the Metropolitan police launched Operation Safeway to improve cycling safety and clamp down on unmannerly or law-breaking two-wheelers.

Update: This article has been amended due to previously incorrect figures issued by the Guide Dogs organisation.

Photo by McTumshie in the Londonist Flickr pool.

Last Updated 27 August 2014


Genuine question, if they are blind, how do they know the dogs have been hit by bikes?

Jeff Cotton

Probably when the cyclist came back and heaped abuse on them.

Andrew Buckle

My Mother who is blind really dislikes walking on the pavements as cyclists often whizz past, swerving on and off the pavements when they see an obstacle. The cyclists should not be on the pavement. Mentioning that generally results in a barrage of expletives. Bells and lights perhaps might be useful.


How many have been killed by cyclists?
How many have been killed by car drivers?


Pavement cyclists are utter wankers, end of story.

Simon Munk

Erm, you might want to amend the story above. As the Guide Dogs organisation has now admitted, the figures don't show a quarter of guide dogs have been hit by cyclists.
Of a mere 33 guide dog owners who responded (and therefore, likely had a good reason to respond), 14 said they'd been in a collision with a cyclist. There are over 300 guide dogs in London.

This means it's very very unlikely a quarter, or anything even near that number, have been hit by cyclists.
Idiot cyclists on the pavement can no doubt be scary for people. But statistically, they're very unlikely to be involved in a collision - in fact, you're far far more likely to be seriously injured by a car on the pavement than a bicycle.

Tímea Gregó

To VF your comment was not intelligent at all!

To Patricia: let me cite you! "You must be one of the many, dare I say the majority, of idiot, ignorant, arrogant couldn't give a damn" Yes Patricia you are one of them. I am an active cyclist and have had couple of accidents in the past and all of my accidents were caused by drivers. Moreover, I dislike pedestrians and mothers with buggies; they are the worst and most dangerous creatures on the Earth!!!

Jeremy Petroc MacKenzie-Willia

Beth Parnell-Hopkinson, I've cycled daily in London since the 80's & I encourage my kids to do the same. I & my children don't jump lights or cycle on the pavement. Your sensationalist story helps to demonise all cyclists which wouldn't matter if a frightening proportion of drivers didn't already have the means and will to maim us & often without any form of legal come back.Next time you hear of yet another cyclist splattered across the road - you can feel proud in the small part you have done to encourage the view that all cyclists are inconsiderate bastards and deserve what they get. Only goes to show you should never trust people with double barreled names.


#cycligans says I