New touch-free crosswalk signals installed in Santa Clara County

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SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) – Crossing the street just got a bit safer.

Santa Clara County is adding touch-free, pedestrian activation devices at crosswalks amid the coronavirus pandemic

The devices are equipped with motion-sensing technology, according to Roads and Airport Director Harry Freitas.   

“ You don’t have to touch the button, you just wave your hand from about 3-inches away and the signal will tell you to wait until it’s safe to cross,” Freitas said.

A wave of the hand provides all audio, visual, and touch responses.  This is the first such application of the existing touch-free technology anywhere in the nation, according to Lead Traffic Engineer Ananch Prasad.

“This technology can be used anywhere, it’s already out there on things like paper towel dispensers but until now we had not thought to use it like this on traffic signals…”

Eventually, the touch-free activation devices will be installed at 25 expressway intersections with heavy pedestrian use across the Santa Clara valley.  The buttons are still there, but they are equipped with infra-red technology to detect the presence of a hand within a few inches. 

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