Keep on caning

2016-10-19 16:49
White cane users took to the streets in Salt River last week to create awareness of International White Cane Safety Day.

White cane users took to the streets in Salt River last week to create awareness of International White Cane Safety Day.

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White canes ruled the road on Wednesday to create awareness of the needs of long cane users.

Long cane users took to Salt River Road and Main Road in Observatory to observe international White Cane Safety Day for the first time.

The event started at the premises of the Cape Town Society for the Blind (CTSB). More than 50 visually impaired participants took a walk in the area with their white canes or guide dogs.

“We hosted this event to create public awareness of the 1.4m blind people and visually impaired people living in South Africa,” says Vincent Daniels, spokesperson of CTSB.

“Some of the visually impaired pedestrians fall victim to drivers who don’t demonstrate sufficient care for pedestrian traffic.”

International White Cane Safety Day (observed on 15 October annually) is an opportunity to increase awareness of the white cane traffic safety laws.

“It is observed worldwide to recognise the movement of blind people from dependency to full participation in society.”

Throughout the world, a long white cane is used by people who are blind or visually impaired as a tool for safe and reliable navigation.

The white cane is a symbol of the user’s skills and talents, mobility and independence. It also allows the sighted person to recognise that the user is visually impaired.

The white cane was initially developed and put into use as a measure of safety, especially in traffic situations. Sufficient training can aid in successful cane use, technique and safety.

Several countries have traffic laws designed to protect the person using the white cane.

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