[tabi] Fw: Robert Miller 906-9821 legal advisor for tpd

  • From: "Easy Talk" <Easytalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 12 Aug 2013 13:36:14 -0400

Here is a follow up from Rick Courtemanche the legal advisor for TPD.  I think 
we might be able to make a change in Tallahassee.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: Courtemanche, Rick 
To: 'EASYTALK@xxxxxxxxxxxxx' 
Cc: Coe, Tom ; Stewart, Cheryl A 
Sent: Monday, August 12, 2013 12:38 PM
Subject: FW: Robert Miller 906-9821

Mr. Miller:


I appreciate the opportunity to talk to you about your concern.  Below you will 
find the e-mail that I sent to the entire police department reminding them 
about the “white cane law” and the obligation that motor vehicle operators have 
when approaching a pedestrian who is visually impaired.  


Also, I indicated that I would bring the subject up this afternoon at the 
Department’s Command Staff meeting.  I agree with you that our officers should 
be more aware and sensitive to the laws protecting pedestrians, especially 
those that have an impairment that makes it more difficult for them to travel 
in the City.  This is a safety issue as well as a customer service issue.


If you have any other concerns, please feel free to contact my office anytime.




Richard D. “Rick” Courtemanche, Jr.

Assistant City Atty./Police Legal Advisor

Tallahassee Police Department


(850) 891-4234 (w); (850) 891-4242 (fax)




From: Courtemanche, Rick 
Sent: Monday, August 12, 2013 12:15 PM
To: TPD (Police Department)
Cc: Coe, Tom
Subject: FW: Robert Miller 906-9821


Mr. Miller has been in contact with the Manager’s Office and the Commissioners 
about three instances where he and his wife were hit as pedestrians in the 
Killearn area.  Mr. Miller’s concern was what he perceived was a cavalier 
attitude from the officer in citing the driver of the motor vehicle for 
violating the traffic laws concerning blind pedestrians.


As a reminder, I have attached the Florida Statute reference blind pedestrians 
and the requirement that they have the right of way in all instances.


316.1301 Traffic regulations to assist blind persons.—

(1) It is unlawful for any person, unless totally or partially blind or 
otherwise incapacitated, while on any public street or highway, to carry in a 
raised or extended position a cane or walking stick which is white in color or 
white tipped with red. A person who is convicted of a violation of this 
subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as 
provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(2) Whenever a pedestrian is crossing, or attempting to cross, a public street 
or highway, guided by a dog guide or carrying in a raised or extended position 
a cane or walking stick which is white in color or white tipped with red, the 
driver of every vehicle approaching the intersection or place where the 
pedestrian is attempting to cross shall bring his or her vehicle to a full stop 
before arriving at such intersection or place of crossing and, before 
proceeding, shall take such precautions as may be necessary to avoid injuring 
such pedestrian. A person who is convicted of a violation of this subsection is 
guilty of a moving violation punishable as provided in chapter 318.

(3) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to deprive any totally 
or partially blind or otherwise incapacitated person not carrying such a cane 
or walking stick, or not being guided by a dog, of the rights and privileges 
conferred by law upon pedestrians crossing streets or highways. The failure of 
any such person to carry a cane or walking stick or to be guided by a dog shall 
not be considered comparative negligence, nor shall such failure be admissible 
as evidence in the trial of any civil action with regard to negligence.



From: Campbell, Stacey 
Sent: Friday, August 09, 2013 12:42 PM
To: Courtemanche, Rick
Cc: Stewart, Cheryl A
Subject: Robert Miller 906-9821


Robert Miller phoned our office this morning.  He and his wife are both legally 
blind and live near Killearn behind the new Publix.  Mr. Miller and his wife 
have both been hit by vehicles while walking several times.  Most recently, Mr. 
Miller was hit by an 18 wheeler but because he had his seeing eye dog with him, 
the dog was able to keep Mr. Miller from having serious sustained injuries.  
Most of the incidents occur when a driver is turning right.  When the officer 
arrives, Mr. Miller says the drivers are never charged with anything.  At one 
of the Council of the Blind meetings, a TPD officer was present and when asked 
about the various laws relating to blind people, Mr. Miller alleges that the 
officer said they have more important laws to enforce.  Mr. Miller would like 
to speak to someone about the laws that are on the books and if there are any 
changes that can be made to make people more aware of blind citizens commuting 
on foot.  I talked to Mr. Coe and he suggested that I send this to you so that 
you can reach out to Mr. Miller and discuss the laws and any changes as some 
may have to come from the legislature.  Mr. Miller’s phone number is 906-9821.  
Would you mind calling him?  Thank you.



Stacey Campbell

Senior Executive Assistant to Thomas R. Coe

City Manager’s Office




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