Saturday, May 12, 2007

Bus drivers insensitive to the needs of the visually impaired!

A Palmerston woman claims the Northern Territory Government's promise to make bus travel easier for blind people has made little difference.

Toni Davison is visually impaired and is often left waiting at bus stops because she cannot see buses in time to wave them down.

She says the drivers do not see her either, even though she has a white cane.

In March, Mrs Davison thought she had scored a victory when the Transport Minister, Delia Lawrie, announced it would become a driver's responsibility to pull over whenever there is someone waiting.

But Mrs Davison says drivers still tell her it is up to her to signal she wants to get on.

"Now this is not what the Minister agreed to, she agreed that buses pull up if there's somebody at the stop," she said.

The director of public transport, George Timson, says the logistical changes are well under way.
"We've been working since Minister Lawrie made the announcement to stop at every stop where there's a passenger," he said.

"We've been working hard in our scheduling area to do the reschedule, we've got probably three quarters of the way through that now and we're hoping to have something out to our bus operators for comment in the next few weeks."


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