Sydney will be the next city to implement traffic lights for inattentive pedestrians. The authorities will add new traffic lights on the pavement. The aim of this initiative is to alarm people who are engaged in gadget interactions of possibly dangerous traffic situations.
A survey in six European capitals showed that 17% of pedestrians of all ages look on their phone screens while walking in the street. When narrowing the data just for ages between 25 and 35, the percentage grows to an alarming 25%.
The first example in attending this issue was a city in Germany who implemented an alarm system for mobile users that were not paying attention to rail trail crossings. The incident that shocked the community was a teenage girl that lost her life when traversing the tracks.
In Sydney, traffic lights will be paved directly into the street. The total cost of the system will be up to 250,000 Australian dollars. The pavement markings will be installed in five locations from the city’s business center.
“Pedestrians are less protected in a road crash and are therefore more likely to be seriously injured or killed. This is why we need to create a road system that keeps them safe, and this includes situations when they may not be paying attention,” said Bernard Carlon, director of the Center for Road Safety in Australia.
The new traffic lights will serve as an additional set of warnings for the ones that are already set in place.
The initiative is part of a governmental program that aims to reduce car accidents and road fatalities. The authorities are also trying to create awareness on how important is to upgrade vehicles to safer standards. They advise drivers to lower the speed and try to implement infrastructure solutions that would reduce the severity of a crash.
The Australian agencies have drafted a 4-year strategy in order to reduce to zero serious road injuries and fatalities resulting from car accidents. They started an educational program that addresses car owners, pedestrians and also motorcyclists, and will try to involve the community in making public roads a safer place.
In 2014, 61 pedestrians were killed in car accidents in Sydney, which shows a 49% increase since the previous year.
The Australian authorities are considering extending these alarm systems if the first stage of the project proves to be successful.
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