A PARTIALLY sighted woman has revealed the daily difficulties she faces after a driver stopped across an entire road crossing, blocking her way.
Ellie Askew – who has been partially sighted since birth – demonstrated the obstacles she faces in everyday life whilst out walking on Monday.
The 32-year-old had been attempting to cross the road in Hornsey, north London with the use of her white cane, but was brought to a halt when colliding with a car taking up an entire traffic light crossing.
The video begins with Ellie crossing one lane of traffic onto the island in the middle as the traffic lights sound loudly to indicate it is safe to cross.
She mutters: “Just another day and another idiot thinking it’s acceptable to stop right in the middle of a crossing.”
Ahead, a small silver car can be seen stopped across the entirety of the crossing, with the driver seemingly unaware of the obstruction he is causing.
Ellie then strides across the traffic island and collides with the car, before the elderly driver inside slowly winds down the window and gestures for her to cross in front of his motor.
Ellie then says “No, it’s not safe for me”, but the man again instructs her to move forward.
Ellie reiterates “No, you parked in the crossing, it’s not safe”, before a motorcyclist can be seen driving straight through the crossing in that exact moment to reaffirm her point.
“You should have stopped earlier,” says Ellie.
The man then timidly says “Sorry” as he then looks in the other direction to avoid any awkward eye contact for the remainder of the video.
The video was uploaded to social media yesterday where it has since received over 34,000 likes and more than 1,000 comments.
One user wrote: “Did he really use hand signals to tell a blind person to go around, how did he think you were going to see that.”
Another commented: “Why I think old people should have to retake a driving test, used to work in a drive-thru and some of them would shake as they put their card to the [machine].”
A third said: “Drivers can be so selfish these days – I’m sorry you had to deal with that.”
Another wrote: “Sometimes it can be an accident. Like you go through a green and then the traffic stops, and you’re left there. Poor blind person, get a grip and wait one minute.”
A fifth replied: “How much can you see? [Because] in other videos you seem capable of avoiding stationary objects? Might you be looking for confrontation a bit?”
Speaking today Ellie said: “I believe even minor incidents like this need to be made aware of because so few people interact with or think that people with a disability live independent lives that includes things like navigating the wider community like going so shops by themselves.
“I’ve had a lot of moments on my video of people saying that [I was] shaming the gentleman in the car and that it was a genuine mistake and that I’m not as blind as I make out in the video.
“Whilst all of those aspects are true to a certain extent, they don’t take into consideration that people with disabilities have so many different challenges to face and extra things to consider in terms of keeping ourselves safe that able bodies people never have to think about.
“Luckily, one of those issues being the misunderstanding or unwillingness to learn from the general public.
“I think in the moment I was more disappointed but also surprised that the driver didn’t recognise, when I had moved back enough, that I was holding a cane, and his first response was still to wave at me.
“People need to stop shaming disabled people for speaking up and educating the non-disabled community – that’s the most emotionally draining.”