|Carol Bartlett||September 9, 2002|
Two of my friends were victims of subway accidents. One was a cane user who fell off the platform and became an amputee, losing her legs; and the other was a guide dog user who fell off the platform and died. Both llived in different cities.
I know there are those who argue that people with proper travel skills and proper training don't need warnings at subway/train stations, or where vehicular traffic might be dangerous, but this is such an irresponsible attitude. In areas of vehicular traffic, I know from my own experience, that I can cross when it is safe, but it is the sighted drivers who run lights and don't pay attention to pedestrians who have the right of way that cause the majority of my problems. Also, I have done some subway travel. An area that could be felt by the feet would allow the blind traveler to line up safely. Sometimes in noisy and crowded stations, you can get disoriented no matter how much training you have had. Something that would alert the blind person to the edge of the platform would be invaluable.
Drivers of cars are, we assume, educated and trained, but still, there are stop lights and warning signals for them to follow. That same logic should be applied to blind people. Also, blind people do not need a license to get from point A to point B, either by walking or by train travel...therefore, all blind travelers are not "trained" the way that all drivers of vehicles are. So the warnings would be useful for all blind travelers.
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