, Kentucky USA
Friday, April 27, 2007

Target 32 Investigates: Drivers Endanger The Blind

UPDATED: 1:01 pm EDT April 27, 2007

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Blind pedestrians have been victims in two recent
accidents in the Clifton neighborhood, where the Kentucky School for The
Blind is located. The people hit were doing nothing wrong, even though they
could not see where they were going.

After the accident in March, Newchannel 32 anchor John Boel investigated.

While law mandates drivers "shall stop and give the right of way at any
intersection to blind pedestrians" the hidden camera investigation found
drivers seldom do. Even a police officer failed to follow the law.

In one tape, at the same intersection where a blind man was seriously
injured last month, a blind woman waited for the walk signal. The moment the
light turned green, a car coming the other way jumps the light to make a
left turn without waiting just as the woman receives the audio command to
cross. The left-turning car misses her by inches and if she had started
walking on her cue, she would have been hit.

The neighborhood around the Kentucky School for The Blind is loaded with
signs reading "No Turn On Red When Pedestrians Are Present" because that's
how the blind are often hit.

But over and over, Boel recorded people disregarding the signs and turning
with or without noticing blind pedestrians right there.

"I think the right turn on red is a problem," Kentucky School For The Blind
mobility teacher Mary Pawlowski said. "Speeding is a big problem. Parking
lots, I would say, is the most dangerous."

Teachers at the school also said drivers should wait longer than they might
think it should take them to cross, and not to honk or talk to them because
the noise or instructions might divert them from practicing what they've

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