|Photo: The 10th Annual White Cane Awareness March participants (click on the picture to enlarge)|
|Photo: WBRC staff member, Annalise Shaffer, mans the info booth|
The group met in front of Palo Alto City hall with speeches from WBRC Administration, the Palo Alto City Mayor, and the Grand Marshal. WBRC also set up and manned an information booth in front of City Hall with informational pamphlets on the White Cane Law, how to interact with pedestrians with vision loss, samples of long canes and support canes, blindfolds, and information about local services. The approximately 1/2 mile march route included several blocks of University Ave, Palo Alto's busy downtown area which allowed participants to distribute information about the White Cane Law to many members of the community.
|Photo: Pete Chavarria (Right) is presented a certificate of appreciation from John Kingston, O&M Department Supervisor, for being the Grand Marshall of the 10th Annual White Cane Awareness Walk.|
This event, designed to celebrate the ability of persons with vision impairment to lead full and independent lives, included public education of the White Cane Law. The White Cane Law states that pedestrians who use a white cane or dog guide have certain rights. Only persons who are legally blind are lawfully allowed to carry a white cane. Legal Blindness is defined as someone who has best corrected visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye; or a visual field limitation of 20 degrees or less. Some people with vision loss do not fall under the legal blindness definition but can still benefit from use of a long cane in a different color, such as yellow.
The California Vehicle Code 21963 states that a person carrying a predominantly white cane or using a dog guide shall have the right-of-way, that the driver of any vehicle approaching this person who fails to yield, or take all reasonable precautions to avoid injuring this pedestrian is guilty of a misdemeanor. This is punishable by imprisonment for up to six months, a $500 to $1,000 fine, or both.
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