White Cane Day October 15th!
White Cane Safety Day is nationally recognized on October 15 every year. This date and the weeks surrounding it offer opportunities to educate the driving public to the challenges the blind and visually impaired community faces on a daily basis just by doing something as ordinary as crossing the street.
People who are blind or visually impaired can be identified by a cane or walking stick that is white in color or white trimmed with red that is held in an extended or raised position or who are using a service animal. There are over 200,000 individuals who are blind or visually impaired in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin’s White Cane Law states:
An operator of a vehicle shall stop the vehicle before approaching closer than 10 feet to a pedestrian who is carrying a cane or walking stick which is white in color or white trimmed with red and which is held in an extended or raised position or who is using a service animal…and shall take such precautions as may be necessary to avoid accident or injury to the pedestrian. The fact that the pedestrian may be violating any of the laws applicable to pedestrians does not relieve the operator of a vehicle from the duties imposed by this subsection.
According to WisDOT, 53 pedestrians were hit and killed by drivers in 2019, and 52 more in 2020. Overall, more than 1,300 pedestrians were hit in Wisconsin in 2019. The only way to change the trend is to ensure that we are bringing awareness to the role we all play in making sure our streets are safe for all pedestrians, especially those who are blind or visually impaired.
Please help us help those who have vision loss to be able to travel safely in our communities by spreading awareness of White Cane Safety.