25th January 2011 the Slovak Blind and Partially Sighted Union signed The European Road Safety Charter and thus became one of more than 2000 signatories from all Europe.
The main goal of the charter is to oblige countries (signatories) to increase safety on roads through specific activities.
The Slovak Blind and Partially Sighted Union fulfils its commitment through organising the so called „White Cane Day“ (this year being organised for the second time). The main goal of this educative initiative is to increase awareness of drivers about meaning and function of a white cane.
This event will be carried out at various cross-walks in 41 cities in Slovakia. This „day“ is related to the World White Cane Day (15th October) and will be realised the 14th of October 2011.
According to the Slovak legislation – the Road Traffic Law (§4, point e), it is the driver's responsibility to take extra care to cyclists and pedestrians, especially children, persons with disabilities, particularly to people who use white canes, and the elderly.
If a driver doesn’t notice or stop in front of a blind person violates the law. During this day all over the Slovak republic, within chosen hours, blind people will be simulating their intention to cross the road. As the event has mainly an educational purpose this day drivers won’t be awarded any penalties. Drivers will only be either notified and given an informational leaflet or a gift (in case of stopping in front of a blind person in a proper way).
This safety-educative event will take place in cooperation with the Police Presidium of the Slovak Republic.
The Slovak Blind and Partially Sighted Union realises this safety-educative event in order to fulfil its commitment and to contribute to raising the awareness of drivers on the road with specific focus upon safety of blind and partially sighted people and the drivers themselves as well.