VIDEO of Paris driver in road rage attack on blind pedestrian and friend goes viral

The Local France
The Local France - [email protected]
VIDEO of Paris driver in road rage attack on blind pedestrian and friend goes viral
The video has sparked a debate about pedestrian crossings in Paris. Photo: AFP

A video of an apparent road rage attack on a blind pedestrian and his friend in Paris has gone viral - sparking intense debate about driving etiquette in the French capital.


The short film, which was posted on Twitter on Monday, appears to show a man helping a visually impaired pedestrian with a white cane across a pedestrian crossing.
As the two men step out they narrowly avoid being hit by an Audi car. A noise suggests the blind man taps the car with his white cane as it drives past. 
The film, which appears to have been taken on the headcam of a cyclist and had been viewed tens of thousands of times on Monday, then shows the driver stopping, getting out of his car then confronting the blind man and his friend, before launching a physical assault.
The driver appears to be shouting "Why did you hit it" at the man helping the bind man before punching and slapping him in the face repeatedly.
The man responds by saying "because you passed over pedestrian crossing when I had priority".
A woman who appears to have been the passenger is seen trying to intervene. The driver then squares up to the blind man before eventually returning to his car after bystanders suggest calling the police.
The film does not identify when or exactly where in Paris the incident took place, but it has sparked intense debate about drivers in the French capital, who have a reputation for being aggressive and ignoring the rights or pedestrians and cyclists.`
Most of those who saw the clip said they were not surprised by the driver's behaviour.
Paris-based journalist Peter Allen described the incident on Twitter as an "astonishing, but very typical, Paris road rage" while other commenters said that Paris drivers "routinely ignore pedestrian crossings".
French newspaper Le Parisian reported that the pedestrian in the video has filed a formal complaint.
Last year the French government toughened up fines for drivers who fail to respect the rules at pedestrian crossings - French law states that a driver must stop if a pedestrian is on the crossing, but also if people are waiting at the crossing with a "clear intention to cross".
Pedestrians will be hoping the potential loss of 6 points will encourage more drivers in France to stop.
Separately the government was planning to make pedestrian crossings more visible to drivers in the hope it makes it easier for them to stop.
Some 559 pedestrians were killed in road accidents in 2016 a rise of 19.4 percent on the previous year.
However, not all the blame is on drivers, a study in 2017 found that 40 percent of French pedestrians cross the road at traffic lights when they don't have the right.
Do the actions of this driver in Paris surprise you?


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also