New device to help disabled pedestrians at traffic lights

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cape Town - Visually and hearing impaired pedestrians living in Cape Town will benefit from a new device that will help them to cross safely at traffic intersections.

The device, known as the "Audio Tactile Pedestrian Detector," originated in Australia where it has been used for more than 20 years to assist those who cannot see the green pedestrian crossing symbol at traffic lights.

The device provides both audio and tactile signals indicating that the pedestrian green man symbol is lit and that it is therefore safe to cross the road.

The device transmits an audible signal and will also vibrate when the pedestrian green man traffic light symbol is switched on.

Firstly there is an arrow that shows the direction to cross and then there is both the vibration and the sound.

The device is able to measure ambient noise and increase its own buzzer level always to be above the surrounding noise that might be a distraction.

The city wants to include this type of device as standard fixture at all new traffic signal installations.

All the traffic intersections in and around the new stadium in Green Point will also be equipped with this device.

Where requested, the device can also be installed at existing intersections, funds permitting.

Councillor Elizabeth Thompson, Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Roads and Stormwater said: "Our aim is to bring all people, motorists and pedestrians alike, safely home. I want to encourage people to use the intersection and call upon the driving public to remain vigilant and be courteous to pedestrians