White Cane Safety Day, a day promoting pedestrian safety, especially for people who are blind or visually impaired (BVI), is in 10 days! October 15 is a federally recognized day to promote the right-of-way of pedestrians who use white canes and guide dogs.
This month, at least eight Wisconsin cities are proclaiming White Cane Safety Day at their City Council meetings:
- Eau Claire
- La Crosse
- Stevens Point
- Sun Prairie
If you live in one of these towns, attend the virtual City Council meeting. Consider writing a social media post or letter to the editor about the importance of the White Cane Law. For other ideas, check out the White Cane Safety Day page on our website or by visiting one of the online resources below.
Did you know? A version of the White Cane Law exists in every state. Wisconsin’s White Cane Law states that a person operating a vehicle must stop at least ten feet from someone who is using a white cane or guide dog. Drivers who violate The White Cane Law can be fined between $25 and $200 for the first offense and may be required to pay between $50 and $500 for the 2nd or subsequent conviction within a year.
In a survey conducted by the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired earlier this year, nearly half of respondents said people in their communities were somewhat unaware or completely unaware of the White Cane Law. Increasing awareness of the law can hopefully reduce the number of pedestrian fatalities in Wisconsin. In 2019, 27 pedestrians died when struck by a motor vehicle. There have been 24 pedestrian fatalities so far in 2020 (Wisconsin DOT).
“Stopping ten feet from crosswalks is a great idea for everyone in our community,” says Denise Jess, CEO/Executive Director for the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired. “Elders, families and others who need more time crossing the street all benefit from people following the White Cane Law, not just those of us using white canes and service dogs. This law can save lives.”
NeuGen (formerly WEA Trust) is sponsoring bus ads promoting pedestrian safety in Green Bay, Eau Claire and La Crosse.