SUBJECT: Audible Traffic Signals
It is proposed that audible traffic signals be installed at many traffic lights
in the United States. The presumed reason is for the safety of blind
It is a curiosity: how many blind pedestrians have been killed in traffic in
this nation in the last TEN years?
What is the comparison of that with sighted persons killed while crossing busy
streets by blind or indifferent drivers? I am asking as Tom Stevens, 1203 S.
Fairview Rd., Columbia, MO 65203.
This proposal is one of the most impractical proposals I have ever heard. It
presupposes that blind pedestrians are unsafe travelers and also presumes that
audible traffic signals will add a great amount of safety to their passage
across those busy intersections.
I know that a blind person was killed in Richmond, VA while trying to cross a
six-lane and extremely busy street. I also know that three sighted pedestrians
were killed at the very same intersection within a few day of the other death.
The reason for the deaths can be attributed to the fact that they tried to cross
all six lanes at one time? Audible traffic signals will not atone for poor
judgment in these instances.
BUT STOP. How many millions of dollars will be spent on a non-existent problem?
One of the tasks of the National Architectural and Transportation Barriers Board
is to RESEARCH and quantify a problem FIRST and to not let pity, sympathy and
By the way, I oppose these signals. I have traveled for more then thirty years
with a cane and have been more endangered by bikes than by cars. Besides, I am
not nearly as endangered by traffic as I am from distractions, which these
signals will present. These signals not only will cost hugely, be worthless or
dangerous in practical application, but will also distract from the alertness to
traffic and safety of crossing.
YOUR CONSIDERATION OF THESE FACTS GREATLY APPRECIATED.
The subject of this email is detestable to me, Tom Stevens, [ ...] It is my
understanding that the Access Board is ready to require installation of these
"devices" at all intersections in the United States where a crosswalk or
sidewalk meets a street. This decision will cost tax payers hundreds of
millions of dollars and is absolutely unnecessary.
I am a blind person who has traveled for many years with cane. I have
encountered a few detectable warnings and have NEVER found them to be helpful.
In fact, they are especially dangerous in wet or cold weather because they are
slick. I have never had problems crossing intersections in cities like
Washington, D.C., Denver, Atlanta, Columbia, MO and in innumerable others.
Please delete these unnecessary and patronizing warning devices.