Blind judge who always wanted to ‘hit the gas’ gets behind the wheel

Michigan, U.S., Blindness
Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein, who is blind, gets into a car to drive for the first time at the Genesee County fairgrounds in Mt Morris, Michigan

A blind judge in the US who has always wanted to get behind the wheel of a car has achieved his goal, as a sheriff rode shotgun.

As 100 people watched, Richard Bernstein of the Michigan Supreme Court drove a car on a dirt track at the Genesee County fairgrounds, north-west of Flint.

“I’ve always wanted that feeling of what it’s like to hit the gas or what it’s like to turn on the ignition and what it’s like to operate a steering wheel,” Mr Bernstein, 47, told WNEM-TV.

Sheriff Chris Swanson was in the passenger seat giving directions and encouragement.

They wore helmets.

“Straighten it out. Soft left, soft left,” Mr Swanson said. “He’s doin’ it!”

Mr Bernstein, who is seeking re-election in November, does not let blindness discourage him from certain goals.

He has run more than 20 marathons.

“My whole life, I’ve loved making people’s dreams come true,” the sheriff said.

“I love seeing joy on the face, and I have seen it the last two hours driving him up here.”

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