Trial of pedestrian countdown timers deemed a success

Date: Aug 24, 2015


A trial to see whether pedestrian countdown timers would help reduce accidents at busy intersections in NSW has proven successful, with the technology due to be rolled out across the state.

Transport for NSW announced the timers would be installed in select locations following the $1.5 million program’s improvement of safety at 29 intersections.

The devices replaced the existing flashing red technology with a countdown that informs people of how long they have to cross the road. Once the timer reaches zero, traffic can begin moving again.

Minister for Roads Duncan Gay said the technology will form a crucial part of the state’s efforts to prevent car accident injuries and deaths in NSW.

“With 41 pedestrians already killed this year, which is 13 up from last year, we’re pulling out all stops to try and reduce these tragic statistics,” he stated.

The timers will be used in conjunction with a range of traffic safety measures, as the trial showed they are not ideal for all intersections. Areas where there are complex traffic light phasing networks may require alternative solutions.

Nevertheless, the technology is currently used successfully in many of the world’s biggest cities, including Tokyo, Singapore and New York.

Injury compensation

Pedestrians are entitled to compensation if they are in an accident involving a vehicle. They are among the most vulnerable road users and can easily be injured or killed if struck by a car.

The NSW government is therefore looking at a range of options to improve pedestrian safety at some of the most hazardous locations in the state.

Transport for NSW indicated the countdown timer trial was just the first step for the technology. The organisation will also explore timers that switch from orange to red as the counter decreases and Images, such as a stop hand, that can be included in future devices.

According to the state government, intersections are not the only places in Sydney’s CBD where countdown timers are being tested. Areas like Martin Place where roads are particularly busy will also receive installations in an effort to boost safety.

“Today’s announcement is in addition to the green on green light phasing changes made earlier this month which will better protect pedestrians from turning vehicles at intersections,” Mr Gay stated.

The announcement came after a vehicle struck a 44-year-old pedestrian at Concord Ward in the early hours of this morning (August 21). The man is currently being treated for serious injuries at Westmead Hospital.

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