BEING a pedestrian can be challenging at the best of times, but for visually impaired Tasmanians, it can be life-threatening.
Sadly for bubbly year 11 student Nicole McKillop, a recent near-miss experience has dented her confidence on the footpath.
``I was about to cross the road, with my white cane extended,'' she said.
``I could still hear the green man (when) a car suddenly came round the corner and it nearly hit me. It was probably no more than a metre away, but with my eye condition it seemed even closer.
``It frightened me very much.''
Nicole is not alone, with figures from Guide Dogs Tasmania showing half its client base have had a near miss on the roads, with one in 15 actually being struck.
Thankfully for Nicole and the hundreds of Tasmanians with vision impairment, a new campaign, launched on White Cane Day yesterday, aims to improve pedestrian safety.
The Watch Out, Cane About campaign, a partnership between Guide Dogs Tasmania, the RACT and the state government, hopes to improve driver awareness of vulnerable road users.
``You might be able to see a pedestrian who's blind or visually impaired, but they can't see you,'' Human Services Minister Cassy O'Connor said.
``A little extra vigilance and patience makes a big safety difference.''
The campaign will include television and radio advertisements, with RACT distributing information to its members.