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White Cane Safety Day A Reminder For Jacksonville Drivers To Watch For Pedestrians

people using canes to walk down the sidewalk
Braille Institute

Getting from point A to point B safely can be challenging for those living with blindness. Often, they use a white cane to help them navigate streets, and they want to remind drivers to be on the lookout for them.

President of the Jacksonville Council of the Blind, Doug Hansard, says drivers’ making a right turn on red after stopping can be especially dangerous.

"People are getting hit far too frequently, and not only pedestrians, but also bicyclists as well, and all we want to do is to be able to alert the drivers to just slow down just a little bit," he says. 

Thursday is national White Cane Safety Day, an annual observance started in the mid-1960s. It's a time to remind people of Florida's White Cane Law, which says drivers must fully stop when approaching an intersection or street where a person is attempting to cross with a white cane tipped with red. 

To create awareness, pedestrians with white canes will be out near Jacksonville’s Five Points neighborhood, strolling down Riverside Avenue from 10 a.m. to noon.

Photo credit: "White Cane Day" by Braille Services used under Creative Commons license.

Michelle Corum joined WJCT as "Morning Edition" host in 2012 and has worked in public broadcasting as an announcer and reporter for public radio stations in Lawrence, Kansas, and Interlochen, Michigan. She also manages WJCT's Radio Reading Service for sight-impaired listeners.