Shining a light on pedestrian safety

Tuesday, 28 March, 2017

A trial of new technology designed to keep pedestrians safe is underway in Melbourne, ahead of the International Comedy Festival.

The trial is in response to the large number of people who disobey pedestrian crossing signals.

Lights have been installed in footpaths along the edge of the road at the intersection of Little Collins Street and Swanston Street, changing colour between red and green in time with the pedestrian crossing signals at the intersection.

The lights will be switched on around the clock, helping people who are walking at night or looking down at their phones to see where the footpath ends.

“There is growing evidence that using your phone as a pedestrian can lead to serious injuries, so we need everyone to focus on their surroundings and not their mobile phones,” said Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan.

“These lights will remind people to stop at the red light, look up and pay attention to the traffic around them.”

This year the Transport Accident Commission has partnered with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival to ensure people accessing the festival get around safely.

In addition to the newly lit footpaths, an army of TAC lollipop people and green crossing chaperones will patrol the streets of Melbourne to help people cross the road safely.

“We are vulnerable and weren’t designed to survive crashes, so it’s important that as pedestrians we make good choices every time we’re near busy roads,” said Transport Accident Commission CEO Joe Calafiore.

At the end of the 12-month trial, Victoria’s road safety agencies will assess the footpath infrastructure’s suitability for rollout at other intersections across Melbourne.

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