‘More safety with fewer traffic lights at crossings’
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‘More safety with fewer traffic lights at crossings’

Having traffic lights where only pedestrians can see them on crossings next to the road, instead of on the other side, would help to make traffic at intersections safer, according to the Agency for Roads and Traffic.

Having the traffic lights where drivers cannot see them would even diminish road rage against pedestrians, the agency said.

The Agency for Roads and Traffic (AWV) found that drivers turning right on crossings sometimes wrongly conclude that, when the pedestrian light is red, no more pedestrians or cyclists will cross the road. “However, the light for cyclists works different, and stays green for a longer period sometimes,” said Veva Daniëls of the AWV, reports Het Nieuwsblad.

The new system would also have other advantages. Often, people halfway across the street seeing the light change to red will start rushing, “increasing the risk of falling, especially among the elderly,” said Werder De Dobbeleer of the Flemish Foundation for Traffic studies, reports Bruzz. By repositioning the pedestrian lights to the start of the crossing, that will no longer be possible.

Pilot projects are currently running in Bruges and Menen. The AWV will evaluate the arrangement in a few months, after which will be decided whether or not the agency will install them at more intersections.

The new lighting control system “may feel new and weird for pedestrians”, which is why the government will launch an awareness-raising campaign if the new system will be implemented across Flanders.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times