The Wells Signal

Presented by
Sophia Leduck, M.A., C.O.M.S.

The Wells Signal is a specific, yet simple hand signal developed abroad whilst working a 2-year contract as an O&M Specialist in New Zealand. I quickly became aware, that drivers are not pedestrian-friendly like they are here in the United States and they do not have any rules similar to our white cane law.

Do drivers know exactly what it means? Not necessarily, as long as it gets their attention . . . and in their bewilderment, they slow down, yield, or stop for a pedestrian . . . that's the point!

The long white cane gives attention to lower body while the Wells signal provides attention to upper body and is more inline with the driver's eye level. It is simple and easy to do . . . a built-in type of technique . . . as long as you are equipped with an arm!

The Wells Signal is already associated with authority/familiarity with regards to drivers. Think about it. . .police officers are persons with authority and use hand signals to direct traffic. Crossing guards often use hand signals along with their stop signs. Basically, the message to the driver is . . . "slow down, yield, stop".

This session will introduce and provide outside demonstrations of the Wells Signal for increasing pedestrian visibility, safety and driver cooperation during street crossings.

Participants in the October 1st Monday workshop will develop and execute a pilot test of the effectiveness of the Wells Signal at nearby intersection/s, and debrief results. The outdoor demonstration will include use of one (or all) of the following: long white cane, ID cane, and support cane.

Sequence of Events/Monday's Workshop

How to properly exhibit the Wells Signal When to begin the Wells Signal When to end the Wells Signal Applications Pre-requisite skills Modifications (as seen appropriate) Observations of drivers while pedestrian is using the Wells Signal Observations of students that have been taught the Wells Signal