World’s first lighted zebra crossing in the Netherlands
Because pedestrians on zebra crossings are badly visible in the dark or during bad weather, many accidents happen on a daily basis and all over the world. A lot of them have deadly consequences. To reduce the number of accidents, the Dutch company Lighted Zebra Crossing has installed the world’s first lighted zebra crossing.
The idea came a few years ago from a 10-year-old girl called Aurora from Groningen, the Netherlands, because she did not feel safe to cross the street at zebra crossings. Her theory was that drivers often do not stop before a zebra crossing because they do not see it, so making the crossings more visible would change that.
In various Dutch and Belgian towns (Heerenveen, Groningen, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp and Brussels), this theory was put to the test by placing mats on the streets on which a zebra crossing was displayed. The white stripes of these mats lit up when someone approached the crossing, pedestrian, cyclist or driver (see video).
As the test showed promising results, Lighted Zebra Crossing developed a lighted zebra crossing that can be installed anywhere. Instead of painting the white stripes on the street with light-reflecting paint, they created lightboxes with LED lights that function as the stripes and can be installed into the road. The dimensions are 200 x 50 cm (78.7 x 19.7 inch). Usually, two plates are installed next to each other to form one long stripe.
The company developed two versions, one for a brick road and one for an asphalt road. In the former, the lightboxes have a steel frame in which a layer of concrete is poured. A luminous plate is put on top of this. The depth can be custom made, and is usually between 8 and 10 cm (3.1 to 3.9 inch). The asphalt version does not contain a frame with concrete and is about 4 cm thick (1.6 inch). It can be installed directly into the asphalt.
The lights only use a small amount of electricity and can be connected to the streetlights, so that the crossing lights up when the lampposts do. It can also be connected with solar panels.
To test the durability, the lightboxes were installed near a transport company. Daily, about 250 fully loaded trucks drove across it, which is equal to the stress of about 2,500,000 cars. The lightboxes were also tested during various weather conditions, including frost and sun. Salt sprinkling was taken into account as well.
The first lighted zebra crossing was installed in a Dutch village called Eerbeek, which is where the company is from. It was installed within two weeks and will be officially revealed tonight. The aim is to install more of these crossings in other cities in the Netherlands soon.