LightGuard upgrades its crosswalk safety system with new pedestrian detection bollard


One of the leaders in crosswalk safety and traffic calming technology, LightGuard Systems, has made improvements to its automatic pedestrian-activated infrared bollard system, which warns drivers and helps prevent conflict with pedestrians crossing the road ahead.

San Francisco-based LightGuard has updated its Smart Crosswalk infrared Automatic Activation Bollard pedestrian detection system for better crosswalk safety in urban neighborhoods, cities, school zones, parking areas, campuses and private facilities.

The new bollard works in conjunction with the company’s Smart Crosswalk flashing LED systems, signs, and traffic calming safety devices that are designed to alert motorists to pedestrians inside a crosswalk.

The next-generation T6 Automatic Activation Bollard is more attractive and offers more safety lighting features than its predecessor, or other similar products, with a new fully customizable lighted logo embellishment on the front, and improved courtesy light.

The NightGuide features a downward conical-shaped light containing 16 LEDs that softly illuminates and draws pedestrians’ attention to the crosswalk entrance, ‘inviting’ them to a safer place to cross the street.

The Automatic Activation Bollard pedestrian detection system consists of entry ‘gateways’ created by two opposing bollards that are installed approximately 2-4ft (0.6-1.2m) from the curb at the crosswalk entrance.

As pedestrians enter the crosswalk and pass between the two bollards, infrared light beams detect their presence, activating a chain of automated silent and visual communications between the motorist, the pedestrian, the bollard, and the LED warning lights embedded into the pavement that are visible to approaching motorists up to 1,000ft (305m) in advance of the crosswalk.

The new T6 bollard is backward compatible with the company’s LightStar 9X signal head, flashing LED signs, solar, controllers, and other wireless ITS systems, but offers its fullest capabilities to customers using the complete Smart Crosswalk in-roadway warning light (IRWL) system with flashing pedestrian LED signs.

The automatic bollard detection system was invented by the company in the early 1990s to provide the additional safety benefits that a lighted crosswalk system offers to the 67% of pedestrians that did not use the push button to activate the lights, as it requires no pedestrian action aside from walking inside the ‘gateway’. In an independent study, LightGuard’s systems increased driver yield rates to pedestrians from 20% to 95% in the evening.

“Cities, schools, and municipalities, need a proven method to tackle the problems that distracted driving, and lack of drivers’ awareness of crosswalks, has on pedestrian safety,” explained LightGuard’s president, Michael Harrison. 

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).