Today is White Cane Safety Day.
Gerard R. Boucher of Haverhill, a blinded war veteran, annually reminds residents that the Massachusetts White Cane Law requires drivers to come to a complete stop when a blind pedestrian is attempting to cross a street with a white cane or dog guide.
Boucher said, “I am told that the blind people are afraid to go out of their homes in this area because they fear getting struck by an automobile.” He said he wants drivers to be “conscious of those who are just trying to get to their destination.”
White Cane Safety Day has been recognized in the United Sates since 1964 when Congress designated Oct. 15 of each year as White Cane Safety Day. White canes and guide dogs allow the blind and those with low vision to have greater mobility and safety and travel to work, schools, home and around the community unassisted.
Beside coming to a complete stop when a blind pedestrian is attempting to cross a street, Boucher said, drivers must remain stopped until the person has safely crossed and should not honk or attempt to wave the person on. They also must never pass another vehicle which is stopped.