Centre for Road Safety

Putting pedestrian countdown timers to the test

[Up-tempo music plays]

[A street-level shot focuses on a pair of brown boots as a pedestrian stands on a busy city footpath. Traffic travels on the road next to the footpath.]

[A close-up shows a hand push the button at a traffic light crossing. Traffic passes in the background. A woman crosses at the lights with many others. We see different shots of pedestrians crossing.]

Narrator: We take risks every day, especially when we cross a road. It’s a simple action, which takes some concentration.

[The traffic signal changes from the green man (walk) to the flashing red man (don’t walk).  Another shot shows pedestrians leaving the footpath and crossing at the signals.]

Narrator: In NSW, too many pedestrians have lost their lives crossing the road.

Graphic: Each year, 50+ fatalities, 1900+ injured

Narrator: Sadly, more than 50 people are killed and more than 1900 are injured each year crossing the road.

Graphic: 25% at intersections with signals

Narrator: About a quarter of these are at intersections equipped with signals.

[A different shot shows pedestrians crossing.]

Narrator: Now you’ll see something new at some Sydney intersections.

[As two young women cross at the lights, we see a pedestrian countdown timer to their left display the seconds left to cross. It counts down from 22 to 20.]

Narrator: A trial of pedestrian countdown timers.

[Pedestrians cross at a wide city intersection.]

Narrator: The timers are activated each time the pedestrian green walk signal has completed.

[A close-up of the traffic signals shows the green walk signal end. The countdown timer above displays the seconds left to cross. It counts down for 28 to 26.]

[Close-up shows the flashing red man, or don’t walk symbol.]

Narrator: The flashing red man (or don’t walk signal) you usually see will be replaced by a timer, which counts down in seconds.

[A split screen adds the pedestrian countdown timer on the left, next to the flashing red don’t walk symbol. The timer counts down the seconds from 6 to 3.]

Narrator: So pedestrians know exactly how much time they have to safely complete their crossing.

[More pedestrians are shown at a crossing. A countdown timer in the distance counts down from two seconds as a man steps off the road safely on to the footpath.]

Narrator: So pedestrians know exactly how much time they have to safely complete their crossing before the red don’t walk signal appears.

[Close-up shows the red don’t walk signal. Different shots show traffic on roads, followed by a fast motion shot of pedestrians crossing at a busy city intersection.]

Graphic: Adelaide, South Australia

Narrator: The timers are designed to help encourage pedestrians to clear the intersection before it becomes dangerous and cars are allowed to proceed.

[A tram and other vehicles move off from the lights.]

[Close-up shows the red don’t walk signal change to the green walk signal. The pedestrian walk audio alert can be heard. Pedestrians are shown crossing at a busy intersection.]

Narrator: The standard sound functions to assist visually impaired pedestrians will remain in place during and after the trial.

[More shots show pedestrians crossing.]

Narrator: Cameras will monitor the effectiveness of the pedestrian countdown timers during the trial.

[Close-up shows the green walk signal end and the pedestrian countdown timer commence at 28 seconds, counting down to 26. Different shots show pedestrians crossing.]

Narrator: And surveys conducted at the sites will help determine any positive impacts the timers have on pedestrian safety.

[Close up shows the countdown timer change from 2 seconds to 1, then the red don’t walk signal.]

Graphic: NSW Government, Transport for NSW

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