October 15th is White Cane Awareness Day. October is White Cane Awareness Month. The White Cane enables freedom, self-reliance, and identification to the public. Only persons who are legally blind are allowed to carry a long white cane with a red strip above the tip. New York State's White Cane Law requires drivers to yield to persons carrying a white cane or using a guide dog.
Pedestrians with a visual impairment need to concentrate when crossing. Do not honk or shout that it is safe to cross. Give pedestrians room to cross. Stop before the crosswalk, not in it.
The right on red law requires a full stop. After you stop, make certain that your path is clear of other cars and pedestrians before you turn.
If you think someone carrying a white cane needs assistance, ask first. If assistance is accepted, offer your elbow to the individual.
When giving directions, be clear using concrete terms (turn right at the corner, left at the next, cross two streets, etc.). Avoid pointing and general terms such as "over there."
Pedestrians, including those who are visually impaired, cross streets assuming that you will know and obey traffic rules.
Please drive safely, and have a Happy White Cane Awareness Month!