Saint Etienne. Yann, the visually impaired, expelled from the bus with his dog: “It’s shameful”

In Saint-Étienne, on Monday 2 January, a driver of the M5 line refused access to the STAS bus to Yann, 45, visually impaired with his guide dog for the blind. (©DR)

Yann, 45, is visually impaired in Saint-Étienne. From a very young age, retinal disease causing him to gradually lose his sight.

For fifteen years, this former mechanic has been helped in his daily tasks by a guide dog for the blind. “If I look you straight in the eyes, I want to see the tip of your nose. I look like in a mouse hole. »

An important guide dog

On Monday 2 January at 15:30 at the Square Violette stop, Yann experienced the unthinkable. Accompanied by his indispensable black labrador crosser, he was refused entry to M5 bus No 1013 by the driver. “He told me to put one muzzle, and make sure it was mandatory. »

For 10 minutes, Yann, who is also a disability facilitator in schools and hospitals, tries to explain to him that it is not mandatory for a guide dog for the blind.

“I was in good condition. I had my disability card with the number of the dog to prove my good faith to him. But the driver won’t hear anything.

“I can understand that we don’t know the law… but when things go badly like this, it makes me angry.”

Yann

“The people on the bus were shocked”

“The people on the bus were shocked,” he recalls. Tone up. Bird names fly. The driver advises Yann to take a bus for the visually impaired

.

“It is discrimination. I cannot stand injustice,” he says. After a few minutes of negotiations, the bus leaves, without Yann.

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“I should have called the police,” he says with hindsight. The 40-year-old decides to go to a STAS agency to complain. An agent then offers him… to send a message on the Internet via the online form.

Other discounts in stores

In Saint-Étienne, on Monday, January 2, a driver of the M5 line refused access to the STAS bus to Yann, 45, visually impaired. In particular, the man was denied access to the Auchan supermarket in Center Deux because of his disability.

(©DR) Yann has experienced this situation several times, especially in the shops. In particular, the man was denied access to the supermarket Auchan

on center two. “I had to call the head of security to get through,” he recalls.

Waiting for an answer from STAS, Yann is not losing his temper. “It is shameful and unacceptable what happened. I hope there will be sanctions. » Contacted byNews Saint-Etienne

STAS has not yet responded to our requests.

The unequivocal law

What do the rules say in Saint-Etienne public transport? Buses and trams are free for the visually impaired and blind.

In trams, trolleybuses and buses, “assistance dogs are accepted free of charge on board”, states the STAS 2022 practical accessibility guide. A note on transport regulations and offences, provides nuance. “However, access for any animal is left to the discretion of STAS agents. » That law However clear

: “Guide or assistance dogs are permitted to accompany their handler in public transport or in a taxi and are exempt from wearing a muzzle. »

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