Countdown Could Cut Crossing Confusion

By Lindsey Last edited 111 months ago
Countdown Could Cut Crossing Confusion

Road safety research on behalf of TfL suggests two thirds of pedestrians don't know how to cross the road properly. At first we rolled our eyes but it turns out you can stick us in that uninformed bracket. Tufty taught us stop, look, listen but no one ever really told us about traffic lights - they seemed so obvious. Yet we've often hovered on the kerb, wondering if there's enough time to scamper across the street to catch that damn bus before the frustrated traffic takes the brake off.

This is the score: "The green man signals the invitation to start crossing the road. The blackout period that follows the green man at junctions then continues to give people the right of way to complete their crossings before the red light is displayed and vehicles are given their green light to move."

We never knew that the Green Cross Code Man was Darth Vader, either, so all in all it's a day of discovery.

The report suggests that a countdown system - as mooted by Boris and in operation in many other countries - would improve road safety by removing pedestrian doubt as well as potentially chivvying everyone across the street swifter. Introducing such a system across the capital would doubtless cost millions whereas we reckon a new Tufty campaign explaining the 'blackout period' might be better value. A rapping, grey squirrel incarnation of Tufty, though. Keep it real.

TfL are currently testing countdown systems.

Last Updated 07 October 2009