Road Safety: A New Yellow Light For Pedestrians.
In order to improve the safety of city users, a new yellow light for pedestrians is being tested in 6 major cities in France. We invite you to discover how these new tricolor pedestrian lights work and their benefits.
"Why this experimentation?"
The evolutions of road signage generally aim to improve the safety of road or city users. The yellow light for pedestrians is no exception to this rule as it aims to increase the safety of pedestrians at pedestrian crossings. An order published in the Official Journal on April 21, 2023 provides for the experimentation of the yellow light to help users, pedestrians and motorists, better identify "the clearance phase" (i.e. the transition phase between the green light and the red light).
2- How do these new pedestrian lights work?
Unlike the most common pedestrian crossing signs currently in France, these new lights are tricolored. Pedestrians will therefore be able to see the light turn yellow in some cities in France! This pedestrian yellow light works exactly the same way as the orange light for cars. It signals the imminent passage to red, so that pedestrians do not enter the roadway. Specifically, this new yellow light will be tested in two forms: a fixed yellow light and a flashing yellow light.
"What cities are involved in this experiment?"
According to the decree of April 21, 2023, the yellow pedestrian light will be experimented for a period of 2 years in the following 6 cities in France:
Note: the city of Versailles, which was initially supposed to participate in this experiment, has decided not to do so because it deemed the necessary device too expensive.
It should also be noted that other experiments of this type are already underway in other cities in France. To better secure pedestrian crossings, some cities are testing the countdown signal and others are adding LED lighting to make the crosswalk more visible at night.
4- How to react to the yellow pedestrian light?
Whether the pedestrian yellow light is steady or flashing, it has the same meaning. This color indicates to pedestrians that it is forbidden to cross the road. However, pedestrians who have already started crossing can finish safely.
5- What improvement can we expect?
Contrary to what one might hope, pedestrian crossings are not perfectly safe areas for pedestrians.
In urban areas in France, 40% of fatal accidents involving pedestrians occur on a pedestrian crossing. In 2022, 484 pedestrians died in France, representing 15% of road fatalities in our country.
According to the Road Safety Association, the transition phase where all lights are red creates "a conflict zone". With the introduction of tricolor lights and the experimentation of the pedestrian yellow light, the government hopes to resolve this conflict and better enforce the prohibition of engagement by both pedestrians and motorists.