Talking crossings to aid pedestrians

City Hall plans to start installing talking pedestrian lights next year to ensure visually impaired people can make safer street crossings.

The lights will tell pedestrians when the signal changes. Staff will install 220 of the talking lights at major intersections within four years under its campaign "Bangkok, the City of Opportunities for Everyone", said Nikhom Phontharakcharoen, deputy chief of the city's Traffic and Transportation Department.

However, officials are worried about installing the lights at many intersections that allow for left turns on the red signal, because the disabled may not be aware of approaching cars in that left lane.

The city could adjust the lights to give a special warning to the disabled, Mr Nikhom said.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 16/12/2013 at 07:49 PM
So what should the message be ? Do not cross on pedestrian crossings under any circumstances...
Discussion 2 : 16/12/2013 at 07:44 PM
Here in Pattaya, we would be happy to have even one of the 42 expensive traffic controls, installed 2 years ago, light up, much less talk ! Talk of WALKING across a street - no one would dare walk - its RUN FOR YOUR LIFE.
Discussion 3 : 16/12/2013 at 06:45 PM
Free left turns themselves are not necessarily bad, but the drivers in all situations need to learn to follow the rule to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks (actually at all times, even when they are doing something stupid).
Discussion 4 : 16/12/2013 at 05:18 PM
Sweet deal for the gut getting the kickback on this purchase. Will mean nothing for pedestrian safety though.
Discussion 5 : 16/12/2013 at 03:47 PM
The first thing is to ban the 'free left turn' or it doesn't stand a chance of working.
Discussion 6 : 16/12/2013 at 01:57 PM
Pillars emerging from the road... Brilliant idea! Probably the only thing that would make them respect traffic lights.They could also add some on sidewalks for motorcycles.
Discussion 7 : 16/12/2013 at 01:52 PM
Crossing the street here is more dangerous than anything I did in Operation Desert Storm of the early 90's. I can't believe that there is no traffic light or walkover bridge within 1 km in either direction at my house on On Nut Rd. Poor driver education, poor traffic law enforcement and poor infrastructure for pedestrians combine to make a hellish cocktail. Motorcycles with no lights at night traveling wrong way on most streets, not to mention pathways. It's just a little frustrating, after a few years of dealing with it.
Discussion 8 : 16/12/2013 at 01:21 PM
Nobody pays attention to pedestrian crosswalks here. Back where I'm from, if you even enter on while somebody is walking across, it's a huge fine. Police need to up their game a bit.
Discussion 9 : 16/12/2013 at 11:51 AM
A noble idea but unfortunately it won't work because, firstly Thai Drivers ignore the Predestrian lights & crossings which are internationally recognised, and secondly, it won't be maintained and soon fall into disrepair. These types of crossings have been tried before in Thailand and never work because of poor driving skills, ignoring the light signals and no maintenance.
Discussion 10 : 16/12/2013 at 11:01 AM
Unless this system will give special warning to the disabled when some driver who thinks he's too special to wait at the crosswalk plows through the red light, this will be more of a hazard than an assistance. Might work in Europe but not here.
Discussion 11 : 16/12/2013 at 10:59 AM
What about the vehicle drivers. Will they hear the instruction as well and take heed?
Discussion 12 : 16/12/2013 at 10:28 AM
Before spending for such gadgets, they should maybe think about teaching drivers to actually STOP at red lights? Otherwise, this is just something akin to a suicide device for blind people.
Discussion 13 : 16/12/2013 at 10:17 AM
The lights here should be adjusted to say "Don't even think of crossing".
Discussion 14 : 16/12/2013 at 09:41 AM
So far, the blinds have been relying on other pedestrians to perform various tasks such as crossing the streets and catching buses. I've never seen anyone people refusing to help. In fact, most will offer help before being asked. That's a Thai virtue that should be preserved and cherished. On the other hand, cars, motorcycles and everything else on the road ignore traffic lights. Crossing the street is like playing Russian roulette even for average pedestrians. These signals will only misguide the blinds into believing that crossing the streets is safe when it isn't.
Discussion 15 : 16/12/2013 at 09:19 AM
This, unfortunately, is a joke. At the Rama 3 road crossing near my home, cars, trucks, buses, and motorcycles routinely run the red light at high speeds, even when they could have stopped. Such disabled crossings work well in places like NZ and Australia, but here they would only be a signal to launch a blind person directly into the path of a speeding vehicle. Perhaps if this signal is combined with some pillars emerging from the road to stop traffic, then in might work.

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