Student Kaylynn Helps to Add New Question to Nevada’s Driver’s Test

It’s the time of the season for tossing graduation caps and crossing stages as several of Nevada’s teens prepare to graduate high school. While most kids are setting off to college to see what a difference they’ll make in this world, one of NBCF’s students – Kaylynn is already making positive changes for the blind and visually impaired community in southern Nevada. Kaylynn recently participated in our Capital Caravan program, where teens are able to attend the legislative session, meet with their representatives, and if desired, advocate for themselves and their community. While on Capital Caravan, Kaylynn used her voice to advocate for changes to make the streets safer for blind and visually impaired pedestrians.

White-Cane Law gives blind or visually impaired individuals the right-of-way when trying to cross, especially if they’re signaling by flagging. However, not many drivers are aware of this rule, since it isn’t a question they need to study for the driver’s test. But communication is a two-way street, and alongside studying for finals and getting ready to transition to college, Kaylynn has been working hard to increase awareness for Nevada’s White Cane Law and Flagging. Her advocacy efforts have led her to work closely with Nevada DMV, alongside NBCF, to create new copy for the Nevada Driver’s Handbook, and to add a new question to the driver knowledge test.

This new info and question will discuss White-Cane Law and include what drivers need to do when a blind or visually impaired person is flagging; this is the signal used when a person using a white cane with a red tip is about to cross the street.

White-Cane Law helps make the roadways safer for pedestrians who are blind or visually impaired. While specific language can vary state by state, in general, they provide right-of-way to a blind or visually impaired person holding a white cane with a red shaft, or a guide dog, at all times. Flagging is a signal pedestrians who are blind or visually impaired use to let drivers know they’re about to cross. While not every person who is blind or visually impaired will use flagging, there are several types of flagging drivers should be aware of:

  1. Cane flagging is when a person uses their cane and crosses their body and back in an exaggerated arch. (This method is the most taught in Nevada)
  2. Reversible step is when a person uses their cane and steps slightly forward as if crossing the street.
  3. Hand-up toward the driver is when the person uses their cane out directly in front while holding their left arm out in a stop motion to signal to the driver in front of them and behind. 

If you see any of above actions taking place, you must yield until the pedestrian has completely crossed the street and is no longer in the crosswalk or on the road.

The new question is essential because it raises awareness about this signal and encourages drivers to keep White-Cane Law in mind when driving. Along with NBCF and the DMV, Kaylynn was able to create the question and hopes it will increase awareness and safety for those with visual impairments for years to come. Additionally, she has participated in several interviews with local media representatives to help spread the word even further.

The addition of the new question to the driver knowledge test is a significant achievement for Kaylynn and the entire low vision community. Kaylynn, who is getting ready to attend Lynn College at Florida State in the Fall, worked tirelessly to make this happen. She’s discussed her hopes to include this question onto the driver knowledge test during a Ladybug Listener’s episode and even went to Carson City during our Capital Caravan this past March to talk to lobbyists about the importance of adding this question to the driver’s test.

Kaylynn’s advocacy efforts are a testament to her dedication and determination to make a positive impact on the community. By adding this question to the driver’s test, she has made a significant contribution to promoting safety and inclusivity on Nevada roads.

To read more about the changes being made to the Nevada DMV Driver Handbook, check out the DMV’s website for interviews and videos with Kaylynn on White-Cane Law. You can also read KSNV’s coverage here.

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