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Pace Law

Intersection Countdown Timers: More Harm Than Good?

October 7, 2013

A recent study in Toronto suggests that people see intersection countdown timers as a challenge to race across the road, as opposed to something that tells them to stop for safety’s sake. Numbers indicate an increase in the number of motor vehicle/pedestrian accidents at Toronto intersections since the timers were installed. From Yahoo News:

The study, published late last month in the medical journal Injury Prevention, re-analyzed data from an earlier study in the same publication that had concluded pedestrian countdown signals (PCS) did not reduce the number of pedestrian-versus-car collisions at the Toronto intersections where they were used.


“The installation of PCS at 1,965 signalised intersections in the city of Toronto resulted in an increase in PMVC vehicle collision rates post-PCS installation,” the data re-evaluation found. “PCSs may have an unintended consequence of increasing pedestrian-motor vehicle collisions in some settings.”

Read the rest of the article here.

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