Title - Pedestrian Safety for the Visually Impaired and Elderly in Leeds City of the United Kingdom
Author: Jennifer K. Upuji1, Ukpali E. Obongha2, Emmanuel A. Agbor3 & Samuel I. Emri4
This study is aimed at assessing pedestrian safety for the visually impaired and elderly in Leeds City of the United Kingdom. The elderly and visually impaired pedestrians are very vulnerable road users as they find it difficult to meander on the roadways as other pedestrians do. They usually fear the risk of being run over by vehicles coupled with being endangered by other roadway hazards like tripping to a fall on barriers like litter bins, concrete and sign posts and this suppresses their mobility. The methodology adopted in this study was qualitative that require a small sample that yield practical outcome (Patton and Cochran, 2002). A field survey was carried out using a structured open ended questionnaire for data collection. 30 questionnaires were distributed randomly among the visually impaired and elderly individuals in Leeds. The questionnaire was structured to capture information such as mobility aid of the visually impaired persons, their weekly outing activities and the number of times they actually leave their homes, use of technology aided instrument for shopping, their outing desires, car availability and access to car in households, their accompanied and unaccompanied trips, perception of pedestrians in their environments and their experience of some facilities and places. Weighted Index (WI) was used to determine the effectiveness of the assessment. The factors were determined according to the criteria for assessment as age and mobility impacted 66% on the travel behaviour of the elderly and visually impaired, fear of crossing zebras and traffic lights by this group was 90%, presence of obstacles like refuse bins and parked cars yielded 78% and accompanied trips 66.9% of the respondents. The weighted Index calculated on the safety of the visually impaired and elderly from the assessment criteria was (W.I >4). The paper finally recommends construction of road infrastructure for the elderly and visually impaired, design of safety cars, introduction of intelligent transport system, enforcement of pedestrian safety education and practices.