Melbourne unveils footpath lights for pedestrian safety

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A new footpath light technology is being trailled in Melbourne, designed to keep pedestrians in the CBD safe.

Lights were installed in footpaths along the edge of the road at the intersection of Little Collins Street and Swanston Street, which change colour between red and green in time with the pedestrian crossing signals at the intersection.

The lights will be switched on throughout the day and night, helping pedestrians walking at night or looking down at their phones know where the footpath ends.

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Victorian minister for roads and road safety, Luke Donnellan and Transport Accident Commission CEO Joe Calafiore announced the trial, which was done in conjunction with the Melbourne International Festival.

Donnellan said, “There is growing evidence that using your phone as a pedestrian can lead to serious injuries, so we need everyone to focus on their surroundings and not their mobile phones.”

“These lights will remind people to stop at the red light, look up and pay attention to the traffic around them.”

The intersection was chosen for the trial due to a large number of people who cross roads at the intersection and disobey pedestrian crossing signals.

The TAC also partnered with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival to ensure those accessing the festival get around safely.

In addition to the footpaths, a number of TAC lollipop people and green crossing chaperones will patrol the streets of Melbourne to help people cross the road safely.

At the end of the twelve-month trial, Victoria’s road safety agencies will assess whether the footpath infrastructure is suitable for the lights to be rolled out at other intersections across Melbourne.