Audible Pedestrian Signals to Be Installed Around New York City

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Twenty-five intersections in New York City will become a little bit safer because of the plan to install audible pedestrian signals, formally known as "Assessable Pedestrian Signals." These devices, which make a clicking sound when it is safe for pedestrians to cross the street, are particularly helpful for those who are visually impaired, as well as the city's senior citizens.

"Audible signals are literally sound investments that will help improve the safety and quality of life for the most vulnerable New Yorkers who use our streets," Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said in a statement.

There are already 21 of these audible pedestrian signals around New York City. The next batch of 25 is expected to be installed by the end of 2012.

Pedestrian Safety And The City

Although these audible pedestrian signals will go a long way toward keeping New Yorkers safe, there is still a need to look at pedestrian safety in the City. According to the group Transportation Alternatives, 220,000 pedestrians and cyclists have been killed or injured in New York City since 1995 - which amounts to about 13,000 of these accidents each year.

Some other facts that New York pedestrians should keep in mind when walking along City streets include the following:

  • 74 percent of pedestrian crashes take place at city intersections
  • 47 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur at intersections that have signals
  • 57 percent of accidents involving pedestrians occur as they are trying to cross the street with a signal
  • 40 percent of pedestrian accidents occur in the late afternoon and early evening

It is important for pedestrians to be very diligent when navigating across busy city streets. However, even when attentive to his or her surroundings accidents with motor vehicles may occur. In the event of a pedestrian accident, the injured non-motorist may be entitled to damages from the driver involved. Damages may depend on the type and severity of the injuries and may include lost wages, medical costs and pain and suffering.