A traffic light that “individualizes” the signal according to speed. In Canada, they are now testing a system that always shows red for those who drive too fast, but green for those obeying the speed limit.
A problem in traffic is that some drivers interpret speed limits as a loose limit. What is on the sign is treated as a benchmark and it is rather the threat of fines that keeps violations in check.
Therefore, in the Canadian city of Brossard, a traffic light system called “FRED/EARL” has been installed. This stands for Feu de ralentissement éducatif/educatiunal awareness reward light which loosely translates to educational traffic calming light.
The basis of the system is that the light is always red. When a car approaches, a radar determines if it is keeping the speed and if so it switches to green for passing. In cases where a vehicle is traveling too fast, it keeps the red light up and forces it to brake and in some cases even stop.
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The solution is not unique, but it is still not something that has gained widespread use and according to Kalitec, which built it, there are major road safety gains to be made.
The system is to be tested for 90 days and has been set up outside a school. Before the traffic lights were installed, the average speed was 40 km/h, but this was quickly reduced to 28 km/h after installation.
– Across Canada, near schools, people are asking for concrete measures to deal with speeding. This (technology reds.note) has not yet been accepted by the government and we are handling it as a test, says Doreen Assaad, mayor of Brossard, in a comment to the environment and transport site Streetsblogmass.
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Canada has already used automated speeding cameras where both red light runs and speed violations are recorded – and drivers are fined. But according to Assaad, the traffic light system is in many ways more efficient.
– Fines may be effective, but they are effective after the fact. The beauty of FRED is that it rewards good behavior and is direct. It does not record any private information, it just detects a vehicle coming and measures the speed. So it’s more carrot than stick, says Doreen Assaad.
The system has achieved the desired effect, but it is currently quite limited. It only works on minor roads, cannot handle intersections – and should not be seen as a substitute for regular traffic lights at pedestrian crossings.
Source: Ny Teknik – nyheter inom teknik och innovation by www.nyteknik.se.
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