[tabi] Re: a suggestion for the white cane law

  • From: "Easy Talk" <Easytalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2014 14:07:54 -0500

HI Chip,

I think that is a very good suggestion.  I have tried to get a email address 
for Chief DeLeo and after I talked to 3 different people and Sila did the same 
no one new it.  I then called TPD and ask to speak to the chief.  He wasn't in 
so I ask if they could have him return my call. This was on Sunday.  The 
dispatcher who no longer are actually part of TPD any more kept trying to get 
me to talk to the watch commander and I had to persist that wasn't who I wanted 
to talk to.  She finally took my number and said she would pass my request to 
guess who, the watch commander.  So far I haven't received a call from our new 
chief.  I also got a response from the hearing officer and responded to him.

It's pasted below.

I was also suppressed to find out that traffic cases have no transcripts or 
recordings and this particular hearing officer has a private practice and so 
far I haven't been able to find out if he is a actual employ of the court 
system or just has a contractor to provide services.
My whole impression of the experience reeks of unperfeshinoalism.


Dear Mr. Roberts,
Your justification for your decision makes absolutely no sense and apparently 
didn't listen to anything I said at the hearing.  If you would take the time to 
about what you are saying and consider the facts and logic you would know what 
driver and the other two witness said is impossible.
1 first you and the witness say that the truck was well in to his turn before I 
the intersection.
I told you that I approached the corner turned right walked approximately five 
to the pole with the button for the audible signal.  I pressed the button, 
around and walked back to the curb and when the audible chirp started waited 
the vehicle on Killearn center which was coming toward me had cleared the first 
before I proceeded to cross Village Square.  If Mr... truesdell had already 
making his turn before I was at the intersection then he should have already 
the intersection by the time I got to the corner, walked up to the pole to push 
button turned around walked back to the intersection and waited for the traffic 
start coming toward me.  Why was he still in the cross walk when I got hit? I am
blind but not deaf so the fact that the driver said the intersection was clear 
a lie and if you look at the report filed by officer Thompson, if memory serves 
correctly it will support this fact. so one vehicle had already crossed the 
coming toward me and is the vehicle that Mr. Truesdell turned behind.  How would
I know this if I hadn't approached the intersection before Mr... Truesdell 
making his turn.
When the dog stopped I was near the front of his trailer, I know this because I 
hear the location of the engine and stood there very close to the truck as it 
and was struck by a blinker that was sticking out about mid ways of the trailer.
I know this because there was another witness who wasn't given a notice to 
It was the lady that made the call to 911 that told me about the blinker. She 
a small baby in the car but gave her name and number to the lady witness that 
seemed to thingk was so credible.  This witness was also referred to in Officer 
report and actually saw the whole incident. In fact she was standing by me while
I was still laying in the street and handed me her cell phone to tell the 911 
whether I needed a ambulance or not.    Did you check or ask Mr.. truesdell if 
trailer had a blinker that stuck out mid ways of the trailer.  The facts that 
this is the fact that I had a bruise on my right arm mid way between my elbow 
shoulder.  You ask Mr.. truesdell if he stopped and he said yes but you never 
where and when he stopped.  Yes he did stop but only after his entire truck and 
had cleared the cross walk.  Where he should have stopped was on Killearn Center
and waited for the next green light when there wasn't a blind pedestrian 
to cross the street.
 How is a blind person suppose to know a vehicle is going to make a turn? hence 
purpose of the White Cane law.
All of this aside, there are only two elements needed to affect a violation of 
White Cane law.  The first being that a blind person with a white cane or guide 
is attempting to cross a street.  The second is that a vehicle doesn't stop for 
person.  It doesn't say anything about if a vehicle is well in to there turn.  
doesn't say the blind person has to be hit and it doesn't say anything about 
or what part of a vehicle the blind person impacts.  it simply says the driver 
required to stop and if they don't it is a violation of the law. Case closed.
This is exactly why I asked you to please read the law and in fact am amazed 
you didn't prior to the hearing or at least you didn't indicate that you had. If
you are familiar with the Florida pedestrian safety law then you would know that
as long as a pedestrian is obeying a traffic signal then a motor vehicle is 
to yield to the pedestrian.
Although it is erivelent, Next you say
 ).  The eyewitnesses (two) further stated
that it looked like your guide dog stopped and your momentum carried him into 
rear portion of trailer
. According to all witnesses, you impacted the rear portion of the trailer which
is consistent with the fact that that the truck had almost cleared the turn 
you reached the intersection.
I am not sure what you are saying here but it sounds like you are saying my 
momentum carried the dog in to the trailer.  There is no way the dog could have 
carried in to the trailer, he isn't tall enough. he would have went under the 
As far as me impacting the trailer, that isn't true either.  If you run in to a 
what is the first part of your body to hit? your head or possibly your feet, 
me I know.  Was there any indication or testimony that my feet had been run over
or that I had any injuries to my head? no. If you noticed when I approached the 
walking with my dog, his rear flanks are near my left leg which means his head 
nose are around 2.5 to 3 feet in front of me.  If I had had impacted the trailer
at any point the dog would have been under the trailer and if the truck was 
he would have been run over hence the testimony you place so much value on is a 
of crap.
----- Original Message -----
Gary Roberts
'Easy Talk'
Sent: Monday, January 20, 2014 2:53 PM
Subject: RE: injustice for the blind
My Reasoning for my decision to dismiss the citation:
The independent eyewitnesses said the truck (a tractor/trailer) was turning well
into the intersection
before you and your his guide dog reached the intersection
.   This supported the position taken by the truck driver (who stated that the 
was totally clear and he had almost completed his turn when he looked back [for 
second time] a saw you and stopped his truck).  The eyewitnesses (two) further 
that it looked like your guide dog stopped and your momentum carried him into 
rear portion of trailer
. According to all witnesses, you impacted the rear portion of the trailer which
is consistent with the fact that that the truck had almost cleared the turn 
you reached the intersection.
I discounted the testimony by the truck driver and placed great weight on the 
eyewitness.  Your testimony was very credible however; the eyewitness account 
the testimony of the truck driver along with your account.  I am very strict in 
the rights of the visually impaired and all citizens in general.  As read F.S. 
Whenever a pedestrian is crossing, or attempting to cross, a public street or 
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 
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 
of a moving violation punishable as provided in chapter 318.
In this case, the testimony was that the truck was driving very slowly while 
to negotiate a turn and the truck and the trailer had almost completed the turn 
you reached the intersection, how can I ignore that testimony, if I did I would 
be fit to hold my position.  I am sorry that you are taking the position that an
injustice was done but the independent evidence just did not help me rule in 
favor, thank you for your email and your concerns,
Gary A. Roberts, Esq.
The Law Offices of
Roberts & Meeks, P.L.
130 Salem Court
Tallahassee, FL 32301-2810
From: Easy Talk [mailto:Easytalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Monday, January 20, 2014 1:39 PM
To: garyr@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: injustice for the blind
Case #2013 TR 037367
Citation # 5067GYO or 0
Defendant: Wesley Truesdell
Dear Hearing Officer Roberts:
I am writing to express my dismay at your decision to dismiss charges in the 
referenced case.  Your decision has set a precedence that has caused a major 
to blind citizens of Florida.
If you will recall, I ask you to please read the White Cane Safety law before 
your decision. Apparently, you did not do this, or you do not care about the 
of blind pedestrians, or you have no regard for the importance of the White Cane
Safety law.  It is also apparent that you, as most sighted individuals aren't 
of the many blind people that have been struck by vehicles in the state of 
and in many cases, the drivers leave the scene.  Can you give me any kind of 
for your decision after reading the White Cane Safety law?  Based on the 
given at the hearing and the White Cane Safety law, I can't think of any logical
reason for your decision and question your ability to be a fair Hearing Officer 
is supposed to uphold the laws of Florida.
It is my intent to contact the local press and the Chief of TPD to make them 
of the injustice you are responsible for.
I hope you will take the time to read the information below. Perhaps then maybe 
next time a blind person is hit by a vehicle, you might be able to make a 
and informed decision that supports Florida law.  Can you show me anything in 
White Cane Safety law that justifies your decision?
I believe that Officer Thompson should be reprimanded for not showing up for the
hearing. It also amazes me that you are a Traffic Hearing Officer who is totally
unaware of the vehicle and pedestrian problem in Tallahassee and Leon County.  
the last 9 months, there was an article in the Tallahassee Democrat that stated 
2010 and 2012, over 187 pedestrians were struck on Tennessee Street near FSU.  
I was hit in August, over 8 other pedestrians have been struck, causing serious 
and in some cases, death.  If you continue to render decisions as you did in 
case, the situation will only get worse.
Shame on you!
Robert Miller

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Chip Orange 
  To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
  Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 1:03 PM
  Subject: [tabi] a suggestion for the white cane law

  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 

    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 

      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 

      To: Kirk Harmon ; 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 

        To: Mike Ulrich 

        Cc: Easy Talk ; <fcb-l@xxxxxxx> 

        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> 

          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 there!........Mike


          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 

          To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 

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

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


           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 
          "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 intersection.
          "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 
          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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