Test with yellow phase – French finally have to pay attention to traffic lights for pedestrians

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In France, many pedestrians pay little attention to red lights. To achieve greater safety and discipline, pedestrian lights with a yellow phase are now being tested in seven cities. As soon as the yellow light comes on or flashes, pedestrians are no longer allowed to leave, but they are still allowed to cross if they are already on their way, according to the official gazette.

The purpose of the two-year trial is to increase pedestrian safety. They should be made to pay more attention to the red light. Motorists should better understand the so-called clearing time.

The yellow phase is being tested in seven cities
This is the period in which the pedestrian traffic light is already red, but pedestrians are still crossing. The yellow phase traffic lights in Metz, Nancy, Nantes, Nice, Strasbourg, Toulouse and Versailles are being tested at individual intersections.

Fatal pedestrian accidents
More safety is urgently needed for pedestrians, reported the newspaper “Le Figaro”. In 2022, they accounted for 15 percent of road deaths. 484 pedestrians were fatally hit by cars. As for the red light at pedestrian lights, the French have a behavioral problem, the head of the French traffic police, Anne Lavaud, told broadcaster France Info.

“Yes, there is a problem with behavior, but not knowledge of the rules. It’s getting worse,” said Lavaud. “A study we recently did shows that the French don’t like to stop.” People thought they could see for themselves how to go the fastest. In addition, especially in the city, many people are out and about with headphones or mobile phones.

Misunderstanding with the Little Red Man”
“There is a misunderstanding with the little red man,” said the chief of the traffic police. “The time when everything is red creates a conflict zone.” When the pedestrian light has just turned red, motorists and cyclists think they can drive away while their traffic light is still red.

The yellow phase should help here and signal motorists that there may still be pedestrians at the crossing at the moment. The road safety department finds the tests with the yellow light useful, as 40 percent of all pedestrian fatalities occur at crosswalks.

To encourage people in France to be more patient with red pedestrian lights, some cities, such as Neuilly-sur-Seine, have been experimenting with countdown traffic lights for several years. The seconds until it turns green again are displayed. However, in general, regulations in France do not allow these traffic lights.

Source: Krone

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