SECTION 1. (a) 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 in public walkways and intersections. 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.
(b) The commission shall consist of 9 members: the commissioner of the Massachusetts commission for the blind, or a designee; the chief executive officer of the Massachusetts department of transportation, or a designee; the commissioner of the department of conservation and recreation, or a designee; the executive director of the disability law center, or a designee; the secretary of the executive office of public safety and security, or a designee, and four people to be appointed by the governor, two of whom must be advocates for the blind and visually 3 of 3 impaired community, and two of whom must be experts in roadway safety and accessibility technology.
(c) The commission shall file its report and findings, along with any recommendations for legislation or executive action, with the secretary of administration and finance, and the chairs of committees as appropriate in light of the recommendations, which may include but shall not be limited to the joint committee on children, families, and persons with disabilities, the joint committee on transportation, the joint committee on public safety and homeland security, the chair of the senate and house committees on bonding, capital expenditures and state assets, and the clerks of the senate and the house of representatives within 1 year of the passage of this act.
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