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Green light for new pedestrian crossing signals

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Pedestrian safety is set for a boost in Oamaru when a new signalised pedestrian crossing at the top of Severn Street becomes operational later this week.

Pedestrian safety is set for a boost in Oamaru when a new signalised pedestrian crossing at the top of Severn Street becomes operational later this week.

At a cost of around $90,000 the lights have been installed by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) to replace a zebra crossing. 

NZTA Coastal Otago Area Manager Roger Bailey says the lights will be of benefit to all pedestrians wanting to cross this very busy section of State Highway One. With schools, a supermarket and a number of local shops in the area, the crossing place is well used.

'The new crossing incorporates some smart technology, using detector pads in the footpath to sense if a pedestrian is still waiting to cross the road.  Pedestrians who have pushed the call button sometimes see a gap in the traffic and dash across the road without waiting on their turn.'

'This frustrates traffic that has to stop for no apparent reason. The sensor pads will detect if the pedestrian has "gone" and reset the lights to allow traffic flows to continue uninterrupted, minimising unnecessary delays. This technology has been successfully used in other places'. 

Mr Bailey says the key thing for pedestrians to be aware of is that they will still need to press the button to activate the signals and then remain standing on the pads in the footpath if they want the lights to change for them. This should be quite quick if there is little traffic about, but may take up to 30 seconds at busy times.

Once they are switched on the lights will be monitored in case any slight adjustments are required to optimise the timing of the light phases.

For more information please contact:

Bob Nettleton
Regional Communications Advisor
T   DDI 03 951 3005 
M   021 954 928
F   03 951 3013
E bob.nettleton@nzta.govt.nz

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