National Federation of the Blind of Florida

RESOLUTION 2001-5

Increasing Penalties for Violation of the "White Cane Law"

WHEREAS the National Federation of the Blind believes that, with proper
training and opportunity, blindness can be reduced to the level of a
physical nuisance; and

WHEREAS blind persons are able to cross intersections independently using
the white cane or guide dog; and

WHEREAS Florida Statute 316.1301 provides that whenever a blind person is
crossing a street, driveway, or any other place, all traffic must come to a
complete stop; and

WHEREAS, the right of every citizen to travel safely throughout the
community is a basic right of every citizen; and

WHEREAS many other rights and privileges of citizenship are contingent upon
the ability to travel safely and independently; and

WHEREAS independent blind people regularly have their statutory right-of-way
violated, placing blind pedestrians in danger; and

WHEREAS the penalties of violation of this Statute are minimal, carrying
maximum assessment of three points on the driver's Moving Violation Report
(MVR) and/or a fine of $95:  Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the
Blind of Florida, in convention assembled this second day of September, 2001
in the City of Tampa, Florida, that this organization will work diligently
to educate drivers about the "White Cane Law"; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we work with law enforcement agencies to develop
enforcement protocols used by patrol officers to increase enforcement of
this Statute; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we urge judges to levy maximum penalties of
offenders of this Statute; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we urge the Florida Legislature to strengthen
the "White Cane Law" by increasing the fines for violation of this Statute
to more appropriately reflect the seriousness of the offense.