How wheelchairs get around in winter

London, ON, Canada / 106.9 The X
How wheelchairs get around in winter

Wheelchairs are often crippled by snowy sidewalks, causing some users to have to turn to the road to get around.

Winter may be a happy time for some, bringing snowy sports and Christmas to the scene, but not everyone enjoys a good powdering.

Getting around the city in a wheelchair during the warmer seasons is difficult enough, but adding snow to the equation can be crippling for travel.

While London buses are equipped to carry wheelchairs, and taxi companies are required by law to have wheelchair-capable vehicles, there may be times where the disabled will need to travel on the road to get around.

This is extremely dangerous, however, as icy conditions and limited visibility can put both pedestrian and driver at risk of accident.

Amanda Pfeffer, the London Police Traffic Sergeant, doesn’t believe that wheelchair users should use the roadways, unless as a last resort.

“Rather than see those individuals have to go to the roadway, I would like to see other alternatives explored, as far as alternative transportation, and what we can do to assist those people from putting themselves in a very vulnerable situation,” says Pfeffer.

But in the few cases that will exist, Pfeffer has some advice for everyone to make sure the roads are a safe environment.

“It’s about driving cooperatively, working cooperatively, within our road systems,” Pfeffer says. “Wheelchair users have as much right to be using our transportation networks as anyone else does.”
With a snowy winter predicted, wheelchair users might be forced to take drastic measures, but if the rules of the road are followed, then safe streets can be achieved.

 

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