|September 22, 2002|
It is my understanding that the National Federation of the Blind is arguing against the use of audible traffic signals to aid the blind in negotiating intersections. This organization has always claimed they speak in behalf of the majority of the blind, when, in fact, they continuously appose things that would make life so much easier for the blind. Their philosophy is that we blind should be able to function in everyday life with hardly any accommodations being made for us. I am in favor of anything, such as audible traffic signals, that would help to make traveling in traffic safer. For years I've suffered from anxiety attacks because of the uncertainty I've experienced at some intersections. I would ask that at least for intersections that are considered by a blind person, to be uncertain and difficult, that audible traffic signals should be placed in such difficult crossings. For example, here in our town there is a highway we must cross to get to several places we need to go to. The traffic on this highway is extremely heavy and there is a stop light at one intersection we can use, however, the cycle is very short and if we misjudge the cycle and wait too long to cross, we are still crossing while traffic is starting to move. If we had an audible signal to let us know exactly when this light turns red, then we could safely get across this highway in plenty of time. This is just one of many examples of tricky crossings I've experienced during my pedestrian experiences over the years. Please understand that the National Federation DOES NOT speak for many of the blind.
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