|October 9, 2002|
While I was not able to attend the meeting that was held in Portland, I was
informed that comments were still welcome.
I am not totally blind but close to it, and rely on a lovely guide dog to help me get around safely, which she has been doing for over 4 years. I'm a member of the ACB and GDUO organizations.
My thoughts on the audible signals are as follows. There are not near enough of them. Anyone with less than perfect hearing is at great risk which is especially true with today's quieter cars, huge increase in traffic volume and the move from fixed traffic light control to volume-controlled signaling.
Audible signals are not, in my opinion, the end all be all solution. Instead, they are an additional safety measure that gives us a more level playing field. The audible warnings do not replace a thing, they are an enhancement to our travels along with our canes or dog guides.
Having had normal vision when younger, again, in my opinion, I believe that the audible signals are to the blind what the walk/dont walk lights are to the sighted population. We have an audible version of the visual pedestrian controls. Not installing audible signals would be tantamount to removing the walk/dont walk lights the sighted population depends on. All we ask is the same level of access to information that our personal safety relies on.
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