September 18, 2002
I am writing in support of the placement of
audible locator tones at traffic intersections. I am myself blind, the mother
and grandmother of blind persons and the daughter of a blind individual. Some
of my family members use canes for travel and others use guide dogs.
Crossing busy intersections is often difficult and
frightening. While most blind people have been trained to listen to the
direction of traffic, this isn't always a reliable indicator. There are times
when traffic is sparsely dispersed or when the flow of traffic is interrupted.
It is even possible to doubt one's judgment when determining whether it is
safe to cross a busy street. At such times, it is reassuring to have the
reinforcement of audible signals.
I am aware that some special interest groups are
not in favor of the use of locator tones, however, these associations do not
exclusively represent the blind population. I am certain that you will
consider all of the evidence when setting a standard for the use of audible
traffic signals. I appreciate your diligence in assuring that our country is
safe and accessible to all residents.