A preliminary report has been compiled by the Australian Department of Motor Transport containing current information on traffic signal facilities for blind pedestrians. This report documents the various efforts to date to provide some sort of audible or tactile means which enable blind people to cross streets safely. The extent of the problem is analyzed: the number of blind people is a given population, the use of other safety aids such as the seeing-eye dog, and correlated conditions such as hearing defects and age. A signal for blind pedestrians must be easily recognizable, provide orientation, detection, a starting signal, an indication of the clearance period, and guidance in crossing. A detailed critique of the two alternatives, audible vs. tactile devices, is given, citing specific examples of these systems in use. An audible signal has the advantage of varied range and versatility in providing information, but it can be hindered by traffic noise, thereby endangering the safety of the pedestrian. Tactile devices are easily interpreted, but they may be difficult to come in close contact with, they are prone to damage, and they are unable to indicate the pedestrian clearance period. Traffic authorities are often reluctant to provide these special faciliteis, but reasons are given that would warrant their installation, such as benefitting the normal pedestrian in the case of a faulty flashing signal. A discussion is included, which mentions the views of blind people themselves as to the feasibility of providing special signals. Research is still being conducted at several institutions throughout the world, and this report does not claim to give a complete presentation of what is not in operation. It is a review of the current state of knowledge, emphasizing the fact that further research must be continued.

  • Corporate Authors:

    New South Wales Dept of Motor Transport, Australia

    50 Rothschild Avenue
    Roseberg, New S Wales 2018,   Australia 
  • Authors:
  • Publication Date: 1975-1

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: 12 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00081231
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Prelim Rpt
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 6 1975 12:00AM