12 Mar '12, 12pm

Can someone tell me if those pedestrian light buttons at crossings are really placebo-buttons?

One place where the button at a pedestrian crossing obviously doesn’t work is at traffic lights at a major junction. The “green man” obviously appears as part of the planned phasing of the lights so pressing the button will have no effect. Well, it has one effect: it makes the “Wait” sign light up… There might be a clue here to the behaviour of your jaywalkers. We pedestrians get fed up waiting for the “green man” to appear when there is no traffic in sight, so we end up taking no notice of it and crossing the road according to our own judgement of when it is safe to do so. Acting thus obviously carries risks but, then, life was never a safe proposition. Now let’s look at it from the other side: motorist behaviour. In London at least, this is poor and getting worse. At the Angel, for example, we pedestrians are frequently put at risk by vehicles turning left where this is ...

Full article: http://cabbieblog.wordpress.com/2010/10/08/the-placebo-bu...

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