New pedestrian crossing technology outside Dunedin schools
New road safety measures are being introduced outside three Dunedin high schools to help make drivers more aware they are approaching pedestrian crossings and need to slow down.
Work will be completed this week on installing a smart crossing outside Kaikorai Valley College. It has a range of features to make it more visible, including illuminated signage on each side of the road and flashing LED lights in the roadway, which will be activated automatically as pedestrians approach to cross.
DCC Transport Engineering and Road Safety Team Leader Hjarne Poulsen says, “We’re adding the smart crossing features to this crossing to make it more visible to drivers. This is a busy road and there have been a number of near misses reported by the school and its students.”
“This is one of the first smart crossings of its type to be introduced in New Zealand, however overseas studies show drivers are significantly more aware of smart crossings. We will be monitoring it to assess how well it works.”
The new smart crossing installation will cost $40,000.
Meanwhile, a new type of road marking called ‘dragon’s teeth’ are to be added to the pedestrian crossing on Bay View Road, outside King’s and Queen’s High Schools.
Mr Poulsen says, “They act as a cue to increase driver awareness they are approaching a pedestrian crossing and need to slow down. They also provide an optical illusion the road is narrowing.”
“The Bay View Rd crossing was chosen because it is close to two large secondary schools and a large volume of traffic and pedestrians use this stretch of the road. One of the issues we’re hoping to mitigate is a lack of visibility at certain times of day due to sun strike.”
Dragon’s teeth road markings have been used for some time in the UK and some states of Australia and are now being trialled in several cities around the country by NZTA.
The new markings will be installed before schools return and then monitored and assessed to see if motorists are more alert to the pedestrian crossing.
The DCC is also keen to get public feedback about the effectiveness of the markings.