Media Release by Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield

Highlighting pedestrian safety for vision impaired Australians

The Assistant Minister for Social Services, Senator Mitch Fifield, today helped launch a new national road safety awareness campaign for vision impaired Australians.

At the launch of the Watch Out, Cane About in Canberra, Senator Fifield said the campaign sends an important reminder to all Australians.

“Every pedestrian deserves the right to travel around with confidence that motorists are obeying the law,” Senator Fifield said.

“This is especially important for people with vision impairment.

“Guide Dogs Australia today released a survey which shows that pedestrian safety remains a critical issue for vision impaired Australians.

“More than half of the blind or vision impaired people surveyed experienced a near-miss with a vehicle over the past five years while trying to cross the road.

“It points to a clear need to educate motorists about road safety.

“By following the road rules and being more aware, motorists can play an important role in giving pedestrians with vision impairment the independence they deserve.”

Senator Fifield said the Watch Out, Cane About launch coincided with International White Cane Day, which promotes the cane as a symbol for the independence of vision impaired people across the world.

“All Australians with disability want to be independent, in charge and in control of their lives,” Senator Fifield said.

“That is one of the key planks of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

“I want to reiterate the Government’s commitment to the full implementation of the NDIS.

“We’ve supported it every step of the way, and will continue to provide unequivocal support for its implementation, in line with the existing intergovernmental agreements between the Commonwealth and the States and Territories.”