Be respectful of all

Yes, that was me in the driver’s seat, at 11 a.m. that Monday, stopped on Webster Street at Eagle Avenue. My hand was out of the window and I was attempting to slow other cars down, expecting them to stop. 

A young man with a white cane stood at the corner. By all appearances, he was listening to know when to step off the curb and out into the four-lane street.  

And the cars passed right by, to either side of me. One driver hollered at me. Some slowed down slightly. Some waited behind my car awhile. But every car proceeded through the intersection at speed. Some made a right-hand turn in front of the man.

Was I really the only one to see the man with the white cane? Are we in such a hurry that signals to slow down are not sufficient for drivers to take extra care and be attentive to pedestrians? To white canes for God’s sake!

The DMV Driver Handbook states “Pedestrians using guide dogs or white canes with or without a red tip must be given the right-of-way at all times.”

In my opinion, it is only by looking out for the well-being of every member of our city that we can build a strong, safe and vibrant community for all of us. Can we start by being alert to legally blind neighbors in our town?


Paula Rainey

Editor’s note: The use of a white cane is meant to indicate a person is unable to see. The cane primarily allows its user to scan surroundings for obstacles or orientation marks, but is also helpful for onlookers to identify the user as blind or visually impaired so they may take appropriate care.