The number of traffic accidents involving pedestrians fell to less than one-third what they had been at intersections equipped with a new pedestrian-friendly traffic light system, the National Police Agency said in a study released Thursday.
The system contains arrow signals indicating “straight ahead,” “right turn” and “left turn” to control traffic flow so that vehicles do not turn onto thoroughfares when pedestrians are crossing, police said.
For research purposes, the agency installed the system at 100 locations with a high number of accidents or heavy traffic.
During an experimental period from January to June, the number of accidents where pedestrians were hit by vehicles dropped to eight at these locations from 30 in the same period a year earlier, according to the agency.
The overall number of traffic-related deaths and injuries fell 40 percent to 122 from 182 cases reported from the same period the previous year.
The study also found that the system did not cause as much traffic congestion as police had feared.
Traffic congestion at the 100 locations using the system actually fell by 2 percent, although 43 locations where traffic was stopped completely when pedestrians were crossing saw a 20 percent increase in congestion, the agency said.
About 1,500 locations were equipped with the system as of the end of last year.
The agency plans to promote further installation of the system at congested intersections and on routes commonly used by schoolchildren.
The NPA said it will soon deliver guidelines to police to promote the system.
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