[Perform-talk] Florida article on quiet cars & accidents with blind people
penatwork at epix.net
Tue Nov 25 16:58:31 UTC 2008
This just appeared on the NFB of PA list, and I thought it might
interest you. Also, since the article says that no one keeps
statistics, I'm wondering if anyone has had a close encounter with a car
-- quiet or otherwise.
Channel 42 to air ad featuring blind people struck by vehicles By
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Sunday, November 23, 2008
BOYNTON BEACH - David Evans felt his walking stick being pulled out of
his hand. When he put out his hands, he felt the front bumper of a car.
"When I yelled and hit my fist on the trunk of her car, she finally
stopped," said Evans, who is blind.
It wasn't the first time he was hit by a car, and he's not alone.
Though no one keeps statistics, advocates for the disabled say the blind
the victims of automobile accidents.
It's a plight that Vision World Foundation wants to bring to the
attention of drivers through a public service announcement featuring
real accident victims,
The 30-second spot, which is being produced by WXEL-TV Channel 42, was
shot last week and will begin airing over the next few weeks.
"There is an attitude here that people believe that if you have a green
light it means go - even if there is someone in the crosswalk," said
a personal injury lawyer who has represented disabled clients hit by
drivers. "And if you are in the middle of the road, you're fair game."
Ren'ee Rentmeester, who created a television cooking show for blind
people produced by Vision World Foundation, said she didn't have to go
far to find
blind people who have been hit by cars. Some, like Evans, have been hit
Until a few years ago, the Florida Outreach Center for the Blind held
white cane safety days at local intersections to publicize how the blind
drivers when crossing intersections. One year, about 40 blind people
were taking part in the event when a truck blew through a red light.
the event for safety reasons.
"They don't stop and make sure anyone is coming," said Allen Preston,
who was also featured in the announcement.
Preston uses a guide dog, which he credits for minimizing his brushes
with aggressive drivers.
"If I'm at a busy intersection, people who wouldn't normally stop for a
pedestrian see the dog, and they slow down."
Besides aggressive drivers, advocates say that many accidents are
caused by people making right turns at stop signs or at stop lights. The
look to the left for traffic but neglect to check if anyone is crossing
from the right.
The popularity of hybrid cars may be good for the environment, but
because the cars are quiet, many blind people can't hear them and if
looking, accidents happen.
Some advocates like Evans, who serves as the president of the Palm
Beach Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind, are pushing
Congress to force
manufacturers to make quiet cars beep when they are backing up. In the
meantime, they say their safety is in the hands of drivers.
"We have to rely on drivers following the rules of the road," he said.
Find this article at:
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Performing Arts Division of the National Federation of the Blind
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