Good Question: How current are deaf and blind child street signs?

July 30, 2018 07:33 AM

You've seen the signs that alert drivers to slow down for a deaf or blind child who lives on a residential street. But how current are they?

Pat Taney was asked about that for this week's Good Question report. He found out several signs that you see may be outdated. So who's responsible for keeping these signs current?


On Oriole Street in Rochester, drivers are warned that a deaf child lives there. But Richard Ocon, who has lived on the street for decades, says the deaf child moved out many years ago.

"There used to be a child, but that family moved to Greece and that was quite a while ago and after that, the sign just stayed up," Ocon says.

The sign not only stayed up, it was replaced after being damaged about a year ago even though the family with a deaf child has been gone for several years.

We also heard from several other viewers who had similar stories. So who keeps up on these signs?

First, according to New York State Law, any parent with a child who is deaf or blind can request these signs on their street. That parent must provide signed documents from a physician proving that their child is blind or deaf.

In Rochester, parents can contact the city and then, provided all documents have been approved, a sign will go up. It's that easy.

The follow up on whether a child still lives on the street is not as simple. Neither state, city, nor county crews check back in to see if the family has moved.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the state Department of Transportation says they inform parents who are approved for a sign and it's their responsibility to let the city, county, or state know they have moved. In many cases, that doesn't happen so the signs stay up.

Then there's the question if these signs really work. Even though the sign on his street is not current, Ocon says sadly, drivers pay it no attention.

"I've seen them going down here pretty fast," Ocon says.

If you're caught speeding down a street with one of the signs, you could face an additional fine. Exactly how much more is up to a traffic court judge.

If you notice a sign is outdated, or if you want one for your child, you can contact your city, town or county's department of transportation.

If you have a question you'd like Pat to answer, send him an email


Pat Taney

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