[tabi] a suggestion for the white cane law

  • From: "Chip Orange" <Corange@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2014 13:03:41 -0500

Maybe the TCB and the NFB should have a joint meeting at the lighthouse 
(inviting anyone from the public who is interested), and get the new TPD chief 
to come and talk on the white cane law and exactly what it means?  Let him know 
ahead of time that this is what the desired topic is, in order to give him time 
to prepare and research his presentation.  This way, we can get questions such 
as the one Robert raises here answered definitively.  It would also serve to 
put the TPD on notice, in a very polite and low-key way, that we expect the law 
to be enforced.






From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of 
Easy Talk
Sent: Monday, January 20, 2014 12:08 PM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Re: Today is a sad and shameful day


Amnd the other sad thing is that the hearing officer can't even read the White 
Cane law and comprehend what he just read.  He gave the reason for his decision 
was that the truck was already initiating his turn which is exactly what the 
white cane Law says you don do.  It says every vehicle shall stop to allow the 
pedestrian to safely cross the street and has no exemptions for 18 wheelers.  
The driver said he had already started making his turn which to me is addition 
that the White Cane Law was violated.

 The law says stop not start turning.


I firmly believe the whole thing was rigged from the get go.  This guy came all 
the way from Miami with out a lawyer and the cop doesn't show up.  Sounds fishy 
to me.


Having a degree in Criminology and working in law enforcement I know if a cop 
wants to get a case thrown out just don't show up.  There was another witness 
who actually saw the whole thing and made the call to 911,  left since she had 
a small baby in the  car but gave her phone number to another witness which was 
given to the officer  she was never contacted by the police and wasn't 
summonsed to appear.  The witness that the judge based his decision on was 
about half a block down from the intersection and didn't actually see me get 
hit since there were other cars between me and her.  For some reason the 
hearing officer said I got hit by the back of the trailer which is totally 
wrong.  I never got hit by the trailer any where, a blinker that was sticking 
out about mid ways of the trailer is what hit me and I know this because the 
witness that left told me that is what happen and she was standing right by me 
while I was still laying in the road and she handed me her phone to talk to the 
911 operator. Anyone who uses a guide dog knows that the dogs back flanks are 
near your left leg which means the dog could be 2.5 to 3 feet in front of you.  
If I had been hit by the trailer Sherman would be dead.





This nothing but good old boys doing there good old buddies favors.






        ----- Original Message ----- 

        From: Shelley Sawyer <mailto:seabelle913@xxxxxxx>  

        To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 

        Sent: Monday, January 20, 2014 11:20 AM

        Subject: [tabi] Re: Today is a sad and shameful day


        It is my understanding that if the investigating officer doesn't show 
up for court, the charges and the case are almost always dismissed. In all 
probability, Officer Thompson knew what she was doing. How truly sad this all 
is. Even worse, how truly scary it is for us!! 





                ----- Original Message ----- 

                From: Sila Miller <mailto:silam@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>  

                To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 

                Cc: fcb-l@xxxxxxx 

                Sent: Sunday, January 19, 2014 8:47 AM

                Subject: [tabi] Today is a sad and shameful day


                Good morning All,


                As many may recall, Robert was struck by a semi truck while 
crossing a street here in Tallahassee, in August. The driver, doubtless, trying 
to save his commercial driver’s license contested the charge and a non-jury 
trial was set for January 15th. 


                Three witnesses (including Robert BUT NOT investigating Officer 
Thompson who did not show up for court) testified at that trial about the 
events surrounding the incident. It was established by all witnesses during 
testimony that Robert was indeed obeying traffic signals. One witness stated, 
“The dog should have never left the curb”. Defendant, Wesley Truesdell 
testified that Robert walked into the truck which he’d brought to a stop when 
he finally saw Robert. Presiding Hearing Officer, Gary Roberts seemed thorough 
and fair to me and I was hopeful that the right decision would be forthcoming, 
as he promised to read the White Cane Safety law. 


                Unfortunately, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Today when we 
went to the website for Leon County Traffic Court, we found that case #2013 TR 
037367 against Defendant: Wesley Truesdell was DISMISSED. 


                I amended to Robert’s early August message which basically 
outlines events as they unfolded for him. I do not know if the White Cane 
Safety law has ever been challenged in court before but I am afraid that this 
will set precedence for a safe future for blind pedestrians. I am appalled at 
decisions made by law enforcers who are supposed to protect the rights, not 
privileges of citizens. I have, and will maintain that driving is a privilege, 
while walking (crossing streets) safely is a right. 


                Any recourse is gone now, as re-charging Mr. Truesdell would be 
double-jeopardy. I could not feel more like a second-class citizen or less 
protected by authorities. What of the Mayor’s White Cane proclamation in 
October? What of Sherman’s medal of valor? How could someone “walk into a 
truck” and get a bruise on the area of the upper-arm as Robert had? What of Mr. 
Truesdell’s change in story which caused Tallahassee Police personnel to decide 
to charge him after all? Is the investigating officer’s absence (lack of 
testimony) representative that the police department actually believes Mr. 
Truesdell is not at fault? Is Robert’s persistence in demanding that Mr. 
Truesdell be charged with the White Cane Safety law and upsetting Officer 
Thompson who wasn’t going to charge Mr. Truesdell with a violation an excuse 
for not upholding the White Cane Safety law, clearly broken, even if Robert 
“walked into that truck”? Am I reading the White Cane Safety law incorrectly to 
believe that the driver is at fault for entering the intersection while a blind 
pedestrian was in process of crossing with a guide dog?




                ----- Original Message ----- 

                From: Easy Talk <mailto:Easytalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>  

                To: Kirk Harmon <mailto:kvharmon54@xxxxxxxxx>  ; Mike Ulrich 

                Cc: fcb-l@xxxxxxx 

                Sent: Monday, August 05, 2013 5:49 AM

                Subject: Re: [fcb-l] Fw: [tabi] Blind Tallahassee Man Has A 
Brush With DeathAt An Intersection


                Just getting law enforcement to be aware of the White Cane law 
would be a major step and more important is getting them to have the right 
attitude.  In both cases where I was hit I had to demand that the driver be 
charged with violating the White cane law.  As soon as you ask the officer if 
they are aware of the law, they get defensive and cop the attitude that you are 
trying to tell them how to do there job.  The first time I was hit, the officer 
did charge the driver but when I got home, I got a call from the officer and he 
told me he was going to resend the ticket since the driver of the car behind 
the one that hit me saw me push the wrong button.  In my most recent situation, 
the officer told me she wasn't going to site the driver since he was driving a 
semi and they take more room to make a turn  and he was already making his turn 
when I started to cross the street which was a lie.

                         The street I was crossing was 3 lanes and I was almost 
across the second lane and approaching the third lane when he made a rolling 
right turn on green.at which point when Sherman stopped, I was about 18 inches 
from the truck, As I was cursing the driver, a blinker sticking out about mid 
ways of the trailer hit me on the back of my right arm and knocked me down 
since I had Sherman's leash in my right hand.

                        At some point I transferred Sherman's leash to my left 
hand and as I was falling, Sherman pulled me back and to the left which is what 
kept me from going under the truck.  The first thing the driver said when he 
got out of his truck was, I didn't see you man, I'm sorry.  By the time the 
officer arrived on the scene The driver figured out, it wouldn't be a good 
thing to tell the cop he didn't see me so he told her he saw me waiting to 
cross the street but he was already making his turn and basically I walked in 
to the side of his truck.


                        When I tried to explain all this to the officer, she 
was having no part of it and kept saying what the other witnesses said of which 
there were 3 other than the driver and the 3 witnesses certainly didn't say to 
me what the officer was saying so I ask her what witnesses she was referring to 
and she said she was talking about the driver of the truck.  I ask her what 
about what I was telling her, that I was a witness and I was there and I was 
still alive.  I certainly got the impression she thought since I couldn't see I 
wasn't a credible witness.  This pissed me off and so I told her, lets look at 
the evidence and explained to her based on where I was hit by the blinker and   
where I was in the road there is no way the accident could have happened the 
way the driver said it did. After standing out in the sun for 45 minutes while 
the cop was in her car talking to her sergeant and dispatch, she came back and 
I ask her if she had read the white cane law she said yes.  I then ask her if 
she was going to site the driver and she said no.  She said I was free to go.  
I told her she hadn't heard the last of this and when I got home, I called the 
police department and spoke to SGT Simms and explained basically what I have 
posted here and he backed the officer's decision and even inferred for some 
time she didn't even know I was blind and the driver didn't either.  I informed 
SGT Simms they would be hearing from my attorney.  I called back a few minutes 
later to request a copy of the police report and by that time things had 
changed and I was informed that the driver had been sited for violating the 
White Cane law but they weren't going to site him for violation of the 
pedestrian safety law.


                        Until we get the legislation passed we have been trying 
for the last 3 years each incident will be your own battle but isn't going to 
do anything to change things state wide.


                        If you want to read how screwed up what some sighted 
people thing about blind people and the White Cane law, go to wctv.tv and open 
the link to the article and then hit space bar on the like button.  the 
comments start after the third header on the page.





                               ----- Original Message ----- 

                        From: Kirk Harmon <mailto:kvharmon54@xxxxxxxxx>  

                        To: Mike Ulrich <mailto:mulrich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>  

                        Cc: Easy Talk <mailto:Easytalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>  ; 
<fcb-l@xxxxxxx> <mailto:fcb-l@xxxxxxx%3e>  

                        Sent: Sunday, August 04, 2013 8:05 PM

                        Subject: Re: [fcb-l] Fw: [tabi] Blind Tallahassee Man 
Has A Brush With Death At An Intersection


                        Good for you Mike! As far as you your quest for solid 
white miniature candy canes attach to the law we did that in Orlando many many 
years ago when we went back to do it for the last time the manufacture of the 
candy canes that gave us white candy canes a quick Mcmanimon know we could get 
was the red and white or gray and whiiings. Good luck to you as I worked  hard 
on finding another manufacturer that would provide us with a solid white 
miniatur to no avail. As far as getting the public To become familiar with the 
Whit can e law, it will be in matter of consistency 
                        by our law enforcement community to site people when 
they make the infraction of this law and to continue doing so here and you're 
out it is also a wise idea, I believe, to educate the new young drivers through 
high schools etc.. Consistency in longevity yin my opinion through these law 
enforcement efforts will be the only way people will actually realize this law 
is there to be followed I believe also we will save many many lives in the long 
run. Kudo to your efforts, Kirk
                        Sent from my iPhone

                        On Aug 4, 2013, at 7:35 PM, "Mike Ulrich" 
<mulrich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

                                Holy cow Robert!

                                Glad to have you back among the living 
breathing and still walking!


                                Speaking of Too close for comfort close calls, 
I will be working with our City of Cape Coral Police Department’s Public 
Affairs Officer; Lieutenant Tony Sizemore with a new program.

                                This will be a program in which the traffic 
officers will be handing out warnings to motorists breaking the right turn on 
red law, and blocking of Pedestrian cross walks, that is, stopping past the 
stop bar.

                                At least this is where it stands as of now. I 
intend on bumping it up to include educating the driving public on the White 
Cane Law of Florida. But it is now at the first step of the poker game! Know 
what I mean?

                                What I’d really like to do, is to get the 
officers to hand out a card with the Florida White Cane Law printed on it along 
with a kind of candy cane type  candy, but  shaped like a white cane!

                                I’m having a hard time locating a candy making 
company that could make these White Cane candies in bulk, at either a pro-bono 
price or at as little price as possible.



                                The Police Department will be blasting out this 
program to all of its Social Networks and through the local media outlets as a 
program of the Cape Coral Police Department  in cooperation with the Southwest 
Florida Council of the Blind.

                                They will be doing this program  as a two 
pronged approach. Starting right now, and during the week of October 15 
National White Cane Safety Week!


                                I am looking very much forward to working with 
the CCPD with this whole program, but it all depends on the driving public 
actually remembering not only the White Cane Law, but to look out for all 
pedestrians in general, and that’s always the big crap shoot! Ain’t it?



                                Good luck to all, and let’s be careful out 


                                Michael D. Ulrich


                                Southwest Florida Council of the Blind

                                “Providing Insight for Blindness”

                                Home phone: 239-540-7431

                                Cell phone: 239-565-5845

                                Email: mulrich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx




                                From: fcb-l-bounces@xxxxxxx 
[mailto:fcb-l-bounces@xxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Easy Talk
                                Sent: Sunday, August 04, 2013 8:07 AM
                                To: fcb-l@xxxxxxx
                                Subject: [fcb-l] Fw: [tabi] Blind Tallahassee 
Man Has A Brush With Death At An Intersection



                                ----- Original Message ----- 

                                From: Easy Talk <mailto:Easytalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> 

                                To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 

                                Sent: Sunday, August 04, 2013 7:58 AM

                                Subject: [tabi] Blind Tallahassee Man Has A 
Brush With Death At An Intersection 


                                 Blind Tallahassee Man Has A Brush With Death 
At An Intersection 8-3-13 11pm
                                By: Bailey Myers
                                August 3rd, 2013
                                Tallahassee FL - A blind Tallahassee man had a 
brush with death Saturday at the intersection
                                of Killearn Center Boulevard and Village Square.
                                Robert Miller explained, "If it wasn't for 
him...um...you would be doing a different
                                It's a story about his seeing eye dog, Sherman, 
who saved his life. Robert Miller
                                has been blind since he was born, and has 
depended on his seeing eye dogs since he
                                was seventeen, but on Saturday that bond 
between man and dog was tested.
                                "He lunged to the left and back, pulling me 
away from the truck," Miller said.
                                Miller also said Sherman stopped him in the 
middle of the cross walk before a semi-truck
                                rounding the corner was able to fully hit him. 
Instead it only hit his right arm,
                                knocking him over in the middle of the 
                                "And I've been hit twice at that intersection, 
and it could very well have cost me
                                my life," said Miller.
                                Both Miller and his wife Sila, who is also 
legally blind, take that walk every day.
                                Hoping that people obey the traffic laws.
                                Particularly one law, Florida's White Cane Law, 
which states: "Whenever a pedestrian
                                is crossing... guided by a dog guide or 
carrying in a raised or extended position
                                a cane... the driver of every vehicle 
approaching the intersection...shall bring
                                his or her vehicle to a full stop. "
                                The difficulty is, it doesn't seem like many 
people know about the law. When asked,
                                'Have you ever hear of the white cane law' one 
passer by said, "No I've never hear
                                of that."
                                Eyewitness News Reporter Bailey Myers asked 
more than a dozen passersby, and they
                                all had the same answer, 'No, I don't know it.'
                                According to Miller even the police officer who 
arrived after he was hit didn't know
                                about it either.
                                Robert's wife Sila Miller said, "It's very 
frustrating when your independence is
                                compromised like that by someone just being in 
a hurry or not paying attention."
                                Both of the Millers have been hit by a car at 
that intersection. Now, they just hope
                                Florida's Legislature addresses the issue and 
work to get the word out about the
                                White Cane Law.

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