Recently, a special zebra crossing in Wujiaochang area has stolen the show. Equipped with LED brick lights, the crossing illuminates to remind drivers to slow down for pedestrians.
This brand new smart crossing is Yangpu District’s latest effort to encourage road safety. Thanks to a radar and infrared detector, the crossing, which is at the intersection of Zhengtong and Guoji roads in Yangpu District, will turn on its lights whenever the detector is triggered.
There are two light patterns for pedestrians to make note of. When the detector is first triggered, the lights will be turned on simultaneously. Then they will shift to a flickering mode where the lights will alternate from one side to the other; this is aimed at warning pedestrians to pay attention to vehicles coming from both directions. In addition, the brightness of the lights will adjust automatically during the day and night.
Being the first of its kind in the town, the lighted zebra crossing is still in its testing phase. If proved to be effective, it will be promoted to other busy roads and intersections.
So, why all of a sudden is there a need to pave an illuminated pedestrian crossing? “We were at the end of our rope,” said an official at the district’s construction and management commission. “The drivers at the intersection are infamous for their quick temper. In the past, we have dispatched volunteers and deployed surveillance cameras. Nevertheless, there’s little change to the number of accidents.”
According to the official, there are two scenarios where the accident rate could rise sharply. One is in sparsely populated areas with dim lights, motorists tend to let their guard down and drive at faster speeds; the other is at busy crossroads in the downtown area, motorists can easily lose focus with all the lights.
To make things worse, there are a great number of pedestrians who are distracted with their smartphones when walking across the road and easily falling victim to an accident.
This is not the first time a lighted crossing has been deployed to improve road safety. Back in 2015, Eerbeek, a town in Holland, introduced this new form of crossing. Later, Madrid, Xi’an and Wuhan followed suit.
That being said, there are still drivers who are against the idea, claiming they may easily confuse the LED lights with headlights and traffic lights. So, whether the illuminated crossing can really help make the roads safer is yet to be seen. In the meantime, it’s best that both pedestrians and motorists continue to be aware and take caution on the roads to keep everyone safe.
[Images via Sohu and Shine]