All Orientation and Mobility specialists should familiarise themselves with the January 2022 changes to the Highway Code. Below is the guidance issued to its Orientation and Mobility Specialists by Guide Dogs. We endorse this advice.
“Whilst we welcome the greater emphasis on the safety of vulnerable road users and pedestrians, there is not yet widespread public awareness of these changes. As a result of this, our current recommendation is that guide dog owners and cane users do not change their behaviour when crossing the road. They should take control of the situation and only cross when they feel it is safe to do so. In many cases it will remain the safest option not to proceed in front of vehicles at junctions, including those that are giving way to them
In summary the recommendation is that guide dog owners and cane users do not change their behaviour when crossing the road. They should take control of the situation and only cross when they feel it is safe to do so. The changes to the hierarchy does not remove the need for everyone to maintain a level of responsibly to monitor and maintain their own safety.
So, our advice to people with sight loss is to take control of the situation and be clear to the motorist about their intention – waving the car on or stepping away from the kerb edge are clear signals that they are not prepared to proceed. It is often safer for people with a vision impairment to ‘indent’ further into a side road before deciding to cross. However, each person and situation are unique, and thus it is only possible to offer general guidance and advice”