As of May 11, 2023, Nevada lawmakers expanded the DMV's educational materials on the White Cane Law and added a permanent question to the driver's test.
With this being said, what is the White Cane Law? This law states that a blind person—on foot and using a guide dog or other service animal or carrying a white cane or walking stick—has the right-of-way on a highway, street, or road. Drivers must yield the right-of-way, come to a complete stop if necessary, and take precautions before proceeding to avoid injury.1
While specific language can vary state by state, in Nevada, drivers must always provide a right-of-way to a blind or visually impaired person. However, roadway safety is a two-way street, and the visually impaired community has developed a communication tool to help signal when they are about to cross the road called "flagging."
Flagging is a practice to alert drivers of a blind or visually impaired person's presence and intention to cross the street. While not every person who is blind or visually impaired will use flagging, there are several types of flagging drivers should be aware of:
- 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.)
- A reversible step is when a person uses their cane and steps slightly forward as if crossing the street.
- 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.2
If you see any of the above actions, you must yield until the pedestrian has completely crossed the street and is no longer in the crosswalk or on the road.
The bottom line? If you see a white cane, you must stop and give the pedestrian plenty of time to cross the street safely.
Our law firm is committed to helping educate our community to reduce the likelihood of injuries and make our streets safer. If you've been injured because of another person, please call our office at (702)800-0000 for a free consultation with one of our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys.
1Nevada Revised Statute, Rules of the Road, 484B, 290. https://www.leg.state.nv.us/nrs/nrs-484b.html
2Nevada DMV (n.d.). Traffic Laws and Safety. Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. https://dmv.nv.gov/dltrafficlaws.htm