by ALEC SMART
Pedestrian crossings in the vicinities of hospitals, which usually require push-button operation to stop traffic, are being switched to automatic, to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.
The signals will be automated 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for the foreseeable future.
This means pedestrians no longer need to push the ‘call’ button to activate the pedestrian signal crossings. The changes simultaneously avoid the risk of touching Covid-19-contaminated metal surfaces as well as improve personal safety around moving vehicles.
Pedestrian signal crossings were automated in Sydney CBD on Monday 23 March, then on Saturday 28 March the first crossings near hospitals were fully-automated in Randwick, near the Prince of Wales and Sydney Children’s Hospitals.
Transport for NSW Secretary Rodd Staples, who is overseeing the automation along with NSW Health and NSW Centre for Road Safety, said “We’re introducing this initiative to minimise the spread of Coronavirus in the community, especially for essential hospital staff, patients and members of the community visiting the hospital.”
Other hospitals scheduled for automated crossings include: Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Camperdown; St Vincent’s Hospital in Darlinghurst; The Children’s Hospital and Westmead Hospital in Westmead; Nepean Hospital in Kingswood; St George Hospital in Kogarah; Royal North Shore Hospital in St Leonards; Blacktown Hospital and Liverpool Hospital.