You hear stories about people getting hit by cars all the time, but have you heard of the new reactive LED lights designed to significantly reduce the number of pedestrians being hit and killed by cars? According to the latest road casualty statistics, 20 collisions involving pedestrians occur at crossings every day in the UK, that’s more than 7,000 a year. These new systems are known as ‘Line of sight’ will detect when a pedestrian is crossing the road, when they are crossing the strip of LED lights turns red warning drivers to stop.
It was created by a London design team (Mettle Studio) who was tasked with creating a safer way for pedestrians to get from on the side to the other. The design has won the praise of one road safety charity and MP, with a fully working concept created in the UK capital to showcase its effectiveness. The team from Mettle Studio led by designers Alex Bone and Luke Forward won a competition to create a cost-effective and easy to install pedestrian crossing that would reduce the number of people knocked down by vehicles each year.
The system uses strips of LED lights either side of the crossing that turns from amber to red when someone steps out onto the road, alerting drivers they need to stop. Also, interactive signs at the crossing can display animations to warn pedestrians they could be in danger. Mr. Bone said:
‘We wanted to achieve something that was financially and logistically more feasible, yet still focused on the issue of reducing the 7,000 incidents that take place on crossings each year. We were excited about the prospect of adding person detection technology to smart crossings to improve future safety with autonomous vehicles as we see this as a small part of future smart cities.’
The design has been praised by many for its potential effectiveness and the low cost to install. According to developers the materials used for the prototype version of the crossing cost less than £2000, which well beats the target they were given of £10,000. Another positive is that the design already works with existing pedestrian crossing infrastructure, making it very easy to install. If all goes to plan we should expect to see these designs being implemented across cities in the UK.
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Related Article: The Daily Mail: LED Lights Prevent Accidents