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First fully lit zebra crossing in Belgium to debut this month
Lokeren, near Ghent in East Flanders, is the first city in Belgium to get an illuminated pedestrian crossing. A trial project will soon be underway on Heilig Hartlaan, where there are both a primary and secondary school.
While zebra crossings using fluorescent paint or with spotlights are not new, fully illuminated white stripes have not yet been seen in Belgium. The devices were invented by a Dutch firm a few years ago, and the Netherlands now has several such crossings.
“It is made up of panels that are placed in steel frames and set into the ground,” says mobility city councillor Sabine Van Rysselberghe (Open VLD). “Lighting is then installed underneath these panels.”
The city is working with road safety products manufacturer Trafiroad on a trial project to determine if the device is more visible to drivers than other pedestrian crossings, if it can withstand the amount of traffic on the street and at what times of day or under what conditions it will be lit. The crossing is not permanently lit; it can be controlled remotely.
A request to improve traffic safety on Heilig Hartlaan came from the schools themselves, which even created proposals with the pupils as to what kind of measures could be taken. “Pupils came up with ideas themselves, but they weren’t actually legal,” explains Rysselberghe.
But news got out, and Trafiroad, based in Lokeren, came forward with the concept. It had not tested this kind of device before and saw this as the perfect opportunity. The installation of the crossing starts next Monday, and it will be complete right before the start of the new school year.
Photo courtesy Lighted Zebra Crossing