HENRICO, Va. – A blind woman whose request was denied for a special sign outside her house to slow traffic had some good news when a viewer came forward to help fix her problem.
Lynda Tennette, who went blind almost two years ago, asked for a ‘caution blind person’ sign to help slow people down.
“My mailbox is on the edge of the street. No sidewalk. Nothing to slow people down,” she said. “They can’t see you until you get around the bend.”
On a street with no sidewalks, Tennette has also had a few close calls walking in her neighborhood with a mobility specialist who helps get her acclimated to living with blindness.
“Being blind, if I miss my cue for where my mailbox is, I will end up in the middle of the street and they’re not going to see me when they’re coming. By the time they see me, it’s too late,” said Tennette.
For these safety reasons, she contacted Henrico County to make a special request.
Prior to 2007, VDOT would, upon request, install neighborhood signs alerting drivers to people with disabilities, specifically children. In 2007, the agency stopped installing them, citing several reasons why it was no longer prudent to do so.
One of those reasons included that there was a lack of evidence that the signs impacted drivers’ behavior.
There were concerns that the signs led to a false sense of security and could attract individuals wishing to take advantage of a child or family. There were also health privacy concerns.
But CBS 6 viewer Wesley Benton, owner of Benton Home Improvement, saw Tennette’s story and reached out to the Problem Solver team to see how he could help.
Benton’s solution was to install a special mailbox that Tennette could access from the back.
He said her story reminded him of a tragedy his own family faced years ago.
“My great grandmother was hit by a car taking her mail across the street,” he said. “This did hit home, again, a good way for us to help.”
He and his daughter Allison were eager to see Lynda’s reaction to the surprise.
“Wow, this is really nice,” Tennette said. “Well, can I give you a hug for doing this for me? Thank you so much!! Just shocked.”
Benton gave Tennette a quick overview about her new box and she couldn't have been happier.
She was feeling special that someone thought enough of her problem to try and help.
“It`s wonderful, never seen anything like this, this is just amazing.”
She said she is extremely grateful for the work Benton did and that the act of kindness gave her peace of mind.