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WPRI: RIPTA hopes new technology will increase pedestrian safety

walkinpvd-icon“Caution – bus is turning.”

That’s what pedestrians will soon hear whenever a nearby RIPTA bus begins to make a turn of more than 45 degrees. A series of strobe lights will also light up along the side of the bus.

The new technology is part of an effort by the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority to increase passenger and pedestrian safety.

I’m all for pedestrian safety, but I hope this system does not result in bus drivers feeling they can usurp the pedestrians’ (or cyclists’) right-of-way. When a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, the bus literally yelling at said pedestrian does not override their right to be there.

“We think this is going to be particularly useful in congested areas where people may be distracted by mobile devices or just the activity around them,” she said.

I do not like this victim-blaming coming from RIPTA at all. I don’t think there is any indication that distraction on the part of pedestrians has been responsible for any recent crashes (injuries, deaths) involving buses. Quite the opposite in some cases in fact.

I also continue to see Peter Pan buses using East Approach at Kennedy Plaza, which is where Michelle Cagnon was killed this past summer. Peter Pan is not supposed to be using East Approach.

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2 Responses to WPRI: RIPTA hopes new technology will increase pedestrian safety

  1. Wil December 6, 2016 at 10:34 pm #

    We cannot get the drivers to use their turn signals or even more IMPORTANT respect Crosswalks in Kennedy Plaza. Too many close calls every day. They drive too fast and too careless. Speed limit should be 5 miles an hour until they get the stops spread out on the new corridor that is being discussed. Again….will these new signals magically just happen…turn signals usually don’t.

  2. David Camacho December 9, 2016 at 2:56 pm #

    I mean if you really wanted to protect pedestrians why not just have raised crosswalks.

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