Teachers at Texas School for Blind call out scooter riders in Austin
Teachers from the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) are calling on scooter riders to be safer in Austin.
Two teachers from TSBVI off 45th St. in North Austin filed a petition in October to spread awareness about the dangers scooters can pose to blind or visually impaired students.
Gail Avey and Toni Provost said they had hundreds of signatures for the petition from students, teachers and parents of students.
Avey said they started the petition after bringing students out to places like Guadalupe near UT to learn how to walk in the city. She said in those times, three students were nearly hit.
"A young man holding a frappuccino and texting,” Avey said. "Their cane was almost run over by the scooter."
Provost said she also saw several scooters in the middle of sidewalks where blind students could trip over them. "Even some of them have been on the wheel chair ramps, parked on the wheel chair ramps,” Provost said.
Since the petition, the teachers say the city has worked with them. The city is even working on a geo-fencing tool to ban scooters from the TSBVI campus. "We do not want them parked on our campus at all,” Provost said. "Very dangerous for our students to try to negotiate the campus and have scooters on the campus."
Provost said they’re also meeting with a scooter company on possible solutions. The teachers said they wanted the petition to raise awareness to how dangers scooters can be for anyone who’s blind or visually impaired. Avey said they want scooter riders to be safer and more courteous to everyone on Austin streets. "It was very alarming for my student and myself and it really opened my eyes to how unsafe they can be when they're not utilized properly,” she said.