Lawmakers propose audible traffic signals to help blind, elderly

SEEKING to promote empowerment for the blind and elderly people by making them less dependent on other pedestrians when crossing the street, party-list lawmakers filed a bill proposing the installation of Audible Traffic Signal (ATS) on all pedestrian crossings.

Reps. Neri Javier Colmenares and Teddy Casiño (Party-list, Bayan Muna) filed House Bill 6730 otherwise known as the “Audible Traffic Signal Act of 2012,” which seeks to provide safety for the differently abled pedestrians specially the blind and elderly.

“As visually impaired pedestrians cannot or find it hard to see the traffic lights, their safety is compromised as they are vulnerable to accidents while crossing the street,” Colmenares said.

Colmenares said the ATS emits a particular sound when the traffic light is red, yellow or green.  With this, the visually impaired pedestrians can confidently rely on their sense of hearing and will know when to cross the streets.

Colmenares said the bill likewise aims to improve motorists and public safety and traffic flow and congestion.

Casiño said Audible Traffic Signal provides information about the status and relative position of pedestrian light signals for blind or visually impaired pedestrians.

“An audible traffic signal includes two speakers at the end of a crosswalk and a control section. The control section navigates a person crossing by simultaneously emitting sounds as in back and forth call operation from the two speakers disposed at the two ends of the crosswalk for a period during which crossing is permitted,” Casiño explained.

Under the bill, Audible Traffic Signal shall be installed in all pedestrian crossings with traffic signals that regulate vehicular traffic.

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) and other concerned agencies are mandated to implement the rules and regulations of this Act.

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