National Federation of the Blind of Florida

 

RESOLUTION 2007 - 02

 

Concerning the White Cane Law

WHEREAS,           

The Florida Driver's Handbook, Chapter 3, under the Heading Blind Persons states: “Drivers must always yield the right-of-way to persons who are blind. When a pedestrian is crossing a street or highway guided by a dog or carrying a white cane (or a white cane with a red tip), vehicles must come to a complete stop; and

WHEREAS,           

Florida Statute 316.1301(2) conflicts somewhat with the Driver's Handbook in that it reads: "...the driver of every vehicle approaching the intersection or place where the pedestrian is attempting to cross shall bring his or her vehicle to a full
stop before arriving at such intersection or place of crossing and, before proceeding, shall take such precautions as may be necessary to avoid injuring
such pedestrian."; and

  

WHEREAS,           

A blind pedestrian is crossing the roadway utilizing their hearing, and if using a dog guide, the dog is attempting to identify any and all moving traffic that might cause harm to the person it is escorting. Therein moving traffic might tend to cause confusion and probable harm to the blind pedestrian or guide dog; and

WHEREAS,           

There is confusion between the wording of the driver's handbook and the white cane law regarding the responsibility of the driver when encountering a blind pedestrian attempting to cross a street; and

WHEREAS,           

The wording in the driver's handbook is more direct and clear in regards to the responsibility of the driver: Now, Therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED

by the National Federation of the Blind of Florida, this twenty-eighth day of May, 2007, in the City of Tampa, Florida, that we encourage the Florida State Legislature to change the wording of Florida Statute 316.1301(2) to be exactly the same as that in the Florida driver's handbook Chapter 3; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED,

that we request that the statement "The driver must remain stopped until the blind pedestrian is clear of the roadway…” be added to Florida Statute 316.1301(2), in order to clarify the responsibility of the driver; and, the organized blind, encourage and urge the passage of a Bill For Pedestrian Safety, that will identify the rights of all pedestrians and detail legal consequence to the violation of such statutes; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED,

that a copy of this resolution be sent to all appropriate legislators.