A trial involving the use of light emitting diode (LED) strips to improve safety at pedestrian crossings is being enhanced and extended, with brighter strips and more test locations, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced yesterday.
The lights - which go from green to red, reflecting the traditional green and red man signals at pedestrian crossings - are aimed at ensuring all pedestrians, in particular those whose eyes are glued to their smartphones, cross the road safely.
The LED strips were introduced in May last year - in addition to the regular traffic lights - as part of a six-month trial. Costing $10,000 to $13,000 to install at each crossing, they were introduced at the junction of Buyong Road and Orchard Road, and the Victoria Street crossing outside Bugis Junction.
The LTA is now extending the trial to the end of this year and introducing the strips at two other locations. These are the St Andrew's Road crossing in front of the National Gallery Singapore and the Bencoolen Road crossing between OG Albert Complex and Sim Lim Square.
At these locations, the strips have been redesigned with green arrows to be "more intuitive" for users.
The strips at the St Andrew's Road crossing, which were introduced yesterday, will first display a steady green light to indicate that pedestrians have right of way to cross, followed by a flashing green light to warn them not to cross.
By the end of this month, the strips in Bencoolen Street will flash dynamically, one by one, in the direction that pedestrians are supposed to walk when they have the right of way.
$10,000 to $13,000
What it cost to install the LED strips at each of the first two locations in May last year, as part of a six-month trial.
At both locations, horizontal strips will light up in a steady red hue when the red man pedestrian signal is on.
"During the extended trial, LTA will continue to conduct site observations as well as public perception surveys to seek views on these new traffic light strip designs and their effectiveness," said the LTA, adding that this would enable it to assess whether the strips serve to improve road safety.
The LTA said pedestrians had responded positively to the strips as a road safety feature, but suggested that they could be brighter during the daytime - something the authority has responded to.
In-ground traffic lights are not unique to Singapore. They are also in use in Sydney and Melbourne in Australia, as well as Cologne and Augsburg in Germany.