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Should Traffic Lights Stay Red For Longer?

Longer Red Traffic Lights To Help The Elderly

The people of England will now be given more time to cross the road as the government introduces an overhaul of the traffic lights system.

By leaving the red light shining for a longer period, pedestrians will now have an increased amount of time to cross while the lights pauses the passing cars.

Ministers are “urgently” conducting a review of the time given by traffic lights amid worries that some pedestrians might find the process difficult due to slower walking speeds, especially on busy roads.

Speaking from London, Robert Goodwill is a minister focused on improving transport and automotive aspects of the country. He commented that newer traffic light systems would be designed to incorporate sensors in order to make sure that those crossing the road had reached the other side.

Should a person not manage to cross in the allotted time, the light would remain red. Should changes be made to the process, they will be the first alterations since the 1950s.

The government has planned to phase out the traditional Pelican crossing (with the flashing ‘green man’ instructing people when it is safe to walk.) In their stead will be the more modern Puffin crossings, with signals on the nearer side of the road, as well as the sensors designed to check whether there are people still crossing.

This could be backed up by a newer system which determines how many people are waiting to cross and makes adjustments to the timing of the red light accordingly.

University researchers have been studying the time taken for people to cross the road, finding that many people over the age of 65 moved at a slower speed than the estimate which forms the basis of current crossing technology. The time which is currently allocated to road crossers is based on a four feet per second speed.

Men and women over 65 were found to be slower – on average – than this national estimate and it is thought that nearly seven and a half million people across the country are affected by this.

While many government sources have confirmed that the longer crossing times are being examined, the head of roads policy at the AA, Paul Walters has commented that it could lead to slower traffic.

So do you think they should remain red for longer?

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