A student at Chung-Ang University may have been shocked to see the crosswalk in front of the main entrance. As the traffic lights do not work properly, it makes the crosswalks useless. There are also moments when motorists and pedestrians barely miss each other, sometimes leading to traffic accidents. An unimaginable mix of cars and people are taking place right in front of the main gate of Chung-Ang University. According to the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency's 2018 traffic accident deaths by Seoul Metropolitan Government, crosswalks in front of Chung-Ang University's main gate were selected as one of 242 places where traffic accidents frequently occurred. The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced that it would work together to install a median strip and a crosswalk floodlight, but it has yet to reach the crosswalk at Chung-Ang University's main gate. Let's take a closer look at why this is happening and why there is no way to solve this problem.
The Reason Why the Traffic Lights Don’t Work
Because of Chung-Ang University Hospital located next to the main gate of Chung-Ang University, one can think that the traffic lights are not working properly. However, a report by the Chung-Dae Newspaper in 2008 pointed out that traffic lights should be installed for safety after the completion of Chung-Ang University Hospital. In other words, the opinion that the system of traffic lights has changed because of Chung-Ang University Hospital is not right. Instead, the fundamental reason why traffic lights are not working properly is because of traffic congestion. Although traffic lights were installed in December 2010, the way traffic lights operate changed in March 2011. The Dongjak-gu Office said it has used the flashlight system instead of the existing system of traffic lights by collecting complaints from residents. Therefore, the traffic light in front of Chung-Ang University's main gate does not turn on and the yellow lights blink.
What Is Amber Flashlight?
So, what does this yellow light blinking mean? This is the 'yellow flashlight'. The amber flashlight implies caution, keeping an eye on other vehicles and signs. Yellow flashing lights are mainly used for the utility of traffic. It usually appears during late night hours or holidays during low traffic hours and is characterized by slow traffic and attention to other traffic and signs, unlike red flashing lights, which should be treated like a 4-way stop sign. Even when there were few cars on the road, there were inconveniences that could be moved only when signals were changed, and in this case, a flashlight system was introduced to improve the rule of law and order by drivers to ignore traffic signs.
The Reason Why Amber Flashing Light Appeared in front of CAU
Ways to Solve this Traffic Light Problem
However, the situation cannot be left intact as it is. Because the risk of a traffic accident is very high. The task to solve the problem is to first reduce the amount of space that pedestrians and drivers come in contact as much as possible, and to ensure that drivers drive carefully. The crosswalk in front of Chung-Ang University's main gate has some long and some short crosswalks, so there are various kinds of dangers. Because long crosswalks should stop many cars at once, dangerous and short crosswalks do not find fast vehicles passing, which could lead to traffic accidents. In addition, the absence of a red light, drivers often exhibit selfish behaviors like passing ahead of other vehicles, leading to major accidents. Thus, while there is a movement in general to release flashing signals in the area where the accident occurred, the traffic lights in front of Chung-Ang University's main gate have yet to show any sign of change. There are many ways to solve this situation safely for both drivers and pedestrians.
Turn Off the Amber Flashlight
Turning off the amber flashlight is the most ideal and difficult way to realize it. This is because we cannot give up the effect of easing traffic jams through yellow flashing lights. Lifting the amber flashlight will ensure the safety of pedestrians, but traffic congestion near the crosswalk may become more serious. Therefore, to make up for the lack of two-lane roads, the expansion of lanes and the dispersion of moving vehicles in the area before reaching the main gate of Chung-Ang University will have a great effect.
Install More Sidewalk Blocks in the Middle of the Road
The purpose of installing side blocks in the middle of the road is removing the sidewalk blocks so that people can stand in an empty space between the left and right directions at the intersection. By doing so, the area in which pedestrians and drivers come into contact will be reduced to the maximum and the radius of accidents will also be reduced, hopefully reducing the risk of accidents. In addition, drivers will drive carefully to avoid obstacles called sidewalk blocks and reduce the risk of accidents even in areas where sidewalk blocks are not installed.
Install More Speed Bump
‘We need physical facilities to reduce the vehicle's speed to less than 30 kilometers per hour and it is possible when we operate a flashing signal on the crosswalk in front of the main gate of Chung-Ang University,' said Han Sang-jin, head of the National Transportation Safety Research Center at the Korea Transport Institute. Examples of this facility include speed bumps and road-shape variations, both of which are not installed on crosswalks. Therefore, speed bumps should be installed to reduce the speed of the vehicle passing the crosswalk as much as possible.
Improve the Awareness of the Drivers and Pedestrians
Still, there is a lack of awareness in Korea about yellow blinking lights. Few people are fully aware of the meaning of flashing signals, and even if they do, there is an attitude that takes the flashing signal lightly. As drivers and pedestrians try to cross first, traffic accidents are bound to occur frequently. Therefore, a more attentive attitude to traffic safety is needed in the presence of amber flashing lights.
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