Up to 300 key pedestrian crossings in the Australian state of Queensland will step up to new smart technology thanks to a A$3m (US$2.1m) investment from the Palaszczuk government.
Following the success of trials at Logan, the Gold Coast and Bundaberg, the Palaszczuk government now intends to roll out smart pedestrian crossing technology over a two-year period to improve efficiency and safety at Queensland intersections.
Mark Bailey, Australia’s Transport and Main Roads Minister, said, “Compared with standard signalized crossings, which use a timer, these smart crossings will use sensors to detect pedestrian movement and adjust the amount of time required to cross. This means pedestrians can cross safely without having to rush, and for motorists it means less waiting when there are fewer pedestrians using the crossing. Importantly, these smart pedestrian crossing detectors can hold left- or right-turn red arrow signals, to protect pedestrians from turning vehicles.”
Bailey announced the A$3m (US$2.1m) investment at the Queensland walking summit, where more than 100 experts and stakeholders gathered to develop a vision for the state’s walking future.
“Trials at Slacks Creek, Broadbeach, Main Beach and Bundaberg demonstrated marked improvements in traffic efficiency and pedestrian safety, which is why we’re now investing through the Camera Detected Offence Program,” he said.
Minister Bailey said around one-third of all pedestrian fatalities and hospitalizations occurred at intersections.
“The Palaszczuk government is committed to improving safety for pedestrians, and these upgrades will go a long way to making sure pedestrians can get from A to B safely,” said Bailey.
In 2018, pedestrians accounted for 35 fatalities. Additionally, from January 1 to August 31, 2018, there were 228 pedestrian casualties on Queensland roads that resulted in hospitalization.
The roll-out of the upgrade program will begin later this year.