BBC - Ouch! (disability) - Opinion - Disability Bitch - Disability Bitch hates pedestrians

Home > Opinion > Disability Bitch > Disability Bitch hates pedestrians

Disability Bitch

More from Disability Bitch

Ouch's fearsome Bitch eats famous disabled people for breakfast. And then spits them out again. She tackles other controversial disability topics with all the subtlety of a hammer cracking a nut. Don't say we didn't warn you!

More from Disability Bitch

Disability Bitch hates pedestrians

6th January 2010

• Disability Bitch is published every Thursday on bbc.co.uk/ouch
Become DB's friend on Facebook

Hello, readers! Welcome to 2010. Yes, I'm still a grumpy disabled Bitch. And before you ask, no, I didn't have a good break. Let's start as we mean to go on, shall we?
L plate
lately the news has been awash with discussion about mobility scooters. You know, those small, three or four wheeled electric vehicles that aren't milk floats, often seen trundling around pavements, usually driven by disabled people. Well, over Christmas it was revealed that a House of Commons committee is going to consider the possibility of introducing speed limits and compulsory training for all scooter users. Meanwhile, after a spate of accidents, Norfolk Police is offering driver training to novice scooter users.

Scooter users, you can put down your complaint forms and take a few deep breaths, because I don't hate you. I don't even hate the cheeky electric pavement people transporters themselves ... though I did try one for a while and didn't get on with it at all.

I think the notion of testing scooter drivers is probably a good one. After all, anyone should be able to manoeuvre themselves safely when they're out and about in a public place. So where does my wrath lie this week?
Legs of woman on a zebra crossing
Legs of destruction
... I HATE PEDESTRIANS! God, I really do.

Scooter users get a bad press. Yes, there are some rubbish drivers and yes, they should be reprimanded; I've had a couple of near misses with reckless scooterers myself and they weren't fun. But the thing is, as a wobbly walking stick user, I have near misses almost every time I step out into a public space. I'm here to tell you that these are very rarely due to the carelessness of other mobility aid users.

Mostly, readers, the cause of my bumps and bruises are fully able bipedal pedestrians. You know, the ones who hurry past you and jab you in the ribs with their elbows, who skittle by on escalators and stairs knocking you asunder, the ones who poke you in the face with their umbrellas, who jabber into their mobile phones and don't keep a watch out for any less stable bystanders. Heck, they made it illegal to use a mobile phone while driving recently, can't they also criminalise phone users for talking while they walk?

Here's my manifesto: Let's make sure all mobility scooter users know how to manoeuvre safely. But let's not restrict training to them. Let's make sure all pavement users are mindful of other people regardless of their level of mobility and introduce a pedestrian proficiency test, if you will.

We'll teach these normal non-vulnerable folk to look both ways when they enter and exit shops, to encourage them not to run and never to stop suddenly without checking behind them to see if there are any of us poor hapless disabled people who have a longer stopping distance than them.
Legs of many people walking
Test them into a black hole in space
Mine isn't even that radical an idea to put to the British government do already test some people for their level of mobility competence. We all know disabled people are called upon regularly to prove just how well they can or can't walk. We fill in a form and then an officially employed medical person turns up to prod us and disagree at every possible opportunity. It's known as 'applying for state disability benefits'.

Since the government agrees it's totally fine to put the 'andicapped through this procedure, I don't see how anyone could possibly object to equally stringent walking tests for everyone. It's for health and safety reasons, after all. And health and safety's where it's at. Oh and it'd annoy normals and the Daily Telegraph which is quite cool.

MillsWatch

OMG! I've barely slept since it was confirmed that Heather Mills will be skating in ITV reality show, Dancing on Ice. The show starts this Sunday, kids. Be sure to tune in.

If, like me, you can't wait, do watch this clip of Hev discussing all the injuries she's sustained and the way skating with a prosthetic limb
makes her bum stick out. If you're wondering why she signed up, it's because "[She's] got 6,000 amputees on [her] website who look to [her] for inspirational things to do". It's tough being a 24/7 disability inspiration, no wonder she had to go for this. Oh, and apparently she's also really pleased she can take her young daughter ice skating because "She's not going to have a disabled mum that can't do anything with her". I hate that kind too, I'm sure we all know where she's coming from (!) Deep breaths, now. Think of your blood pressure. There's weeks and weeks of this stuff to come. It's beautiful.

Facebook

I know where Heather's coming from. I've got nearly 1900 Facebook friends who look to me for inspiration. It's a big responsibility. Facebook friends, go forth to the kitchen and eat cake. If I can do it, you can too.

This week, we've mostly been chatting about the current Celebrity Big Brother line up. There's no one as flamboyantly disabled as last year's Verne Troyer, but Swedish DJ BassHunter does have Tourette's Syndrome, and classy actress Stephanie Beacham is partially deaf.

Apparently Heather refused to appear in the line up this year. Gone are the days when we thought only Channel 4 did disability, now ITV wears the crown! Who'd of thunk it?

Friend me on Facebook now. I mean where else will you get disability and ice but on the telly? Oh yeah, outside. Sorry.

Bookmark with...

What are these?

Live community panel

Our blog is the main place to go for all things Ouch! Find info, comment, articles and great disability content on the web via us.

Mat and Liz
Listen to our regular razor sharp talk show online, or subscribe to it as a podcast. Spread the word: it's where disability and reality almost collide.

More from the BBC

BBC Sport

Disability Sport

All the latest news from the paralympics.

Peter White

In Touch

News and views for people who are blind or partially sighted.

BBC Radio 4

You & Yours

Weekdays 12.40pm. Radio 4's consumer affairs programme.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.