Cross­ings for the vis­ually im­paired

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - MO­TOR­ING STAFF

THE Jo­han­nes­burg Roads Agency (JRA) has com­menced with the test of a spe­cialised pedes­trian cross­walk for the vis­ually im­paired.

The first newly in­stalled traf­fic sig­nal, which is lo­cated at Re­gents Park just out­side the Jo­han­nes­burg So­ci­ety for the Blind of­fices, pro­vides sound alerts, push but­tons and LED lane lights at the in­ter­sec­tion.

The traf­fic lights are de­signed with sound and push but­tons which com­mu­ni­cate in­for­ma­tion to blind pedes­tri­ans to as­sist with safety when cross­ing the street. The au­di­ble push but­ton gives a loud sig­nal alert­ing when it’s safe to cross, and also when it’s no longer safe to en­ter the in­ter­sec­tion.

Lane lights, built into the road sur­face, serve as an ad­di­tional warn­ing to mo­torists that the traf­fic light is red and that they need to stop. Th­ese lane lights for the pedes­trian cross­ing are highly vis­i­ble as bright­ness is au­to­mat­i­cally ad­justed to light in­ten­sity.

“The So­ci­ety would like to thank the JRA for in­stalling the traf­fic lights for the vis­ually im­paired peo­ple in Roseacre as it has truly been ben­e­fi­cial to their in­de­pen­dence and mo­bil­ity in the area,” says the Jo­han­nes­burg So­ci­ety for the Blind’s Vangile Nya­mathe. “We would en­cour­age the im­ple­men­ta­tion of sim­i­lar projects in and around Gaut­eng to the ben­e­fit of the vis­ually im­paired.”

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