SECTION 1. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, there shall be a special commission established to study and determine best practices to ensure the safety of blind persons. The commission, in conjunction with the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, shall be tasked with, but not be limited to, reviewing the following: existing roadway and traffic policies aimed at ensuring the safety of the blind and visually impaired; current use of accessible pedestrian signals; and new technology available to improve upon the safety of blind and visually impaired persons, particularly in cities and highly congested areas.
The commission shall consist of 10 members: the secretary of health and human services, or a designee; the commissioner of the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, or a designee; two members of the house of representatives, one of whom to be appointed by the speaker and one of whom to be appointed by the minority leader; two members of the senate, one of whom to be appointed by the senate president and one of whom to be appointed by the minority leader; and four people to be appointed by the governor, two of whom must be advocates for the blind and visually impaired community, and two of whom must be experts in roadway safety and accessibility technology.
The commission shall file its report and findings, along with any recommendations for legislation, with the chairs of the house and senate committees on ways and means, the chairs of the joint committee on health care financing, and the clerks of the senate and the house of representatives within 180 days of the passage of this act.
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