La Crosse Mayor proclaims Oct. 15 as White Cane Safety Day

The City of La Crosse is joining the nation with a day to recognize the importance of the white cane used by the blind and visually impaired.

La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat has proclaimed Tuesday, October 15 as White Cane Safety Day.

The announcement was in partnership with the City of La Crosse, La Crosse MTU, and the Aging & Disability Resource Center of La Crosse County.

“It’s really about education. So if we have these pedestrian crashes that are happening, are people aware of what the actual footage is that you’re supposed to give people with vision impairment?,” said La Crosse MTU Director Adam Lorentz. “It’s just people taking the time, everybody’s in a rush nowadays. We have to make sure that we take time, and we take care of our pedestrians and people that are utilizing our city of La Crosse.”

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, but pedestrian accidents are up 50% from last year.

CEO of the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired says, “It just gives time for us to know that there’s going to be a safe distance between us and the vehicle, because many of us who are blind and visually impaired can share lots of stories where cars did not do that, and we could actually feel the heat of the engine. That ten feet just creates a buffer or safety zone.”

The city will be promoting awareness through limited bus advertisements that highlight the 10 feet rule, and joins 15 other Wisconsin cities in recognizing White Cane Safety Day.

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