Why There’s a Hidden Button On Pedestrian Crossings

They’re on so many roads but did you know that there is a hidden button on pedestrian crossings? You know the box where you press the button to activate the green man – it should look like this:

Pedestrian Crossing

It’s (usually) a small plastic or metal cone that’s on the underside of that… When the green man lights up and it’s your turn to cross, it starts spinning.

Hidden Button

You’re probably wondering what it’s for then? Good question! We didn’t notice it until very recently ourselves.

It’s made for people who are visually impaired. The thing is, not all crossings beep. And in busy places where there are multiple crossings, it could be confusing for someone who can’t see which crossings are beeping. This hidden button allows them to feel when it’s time to cross. They can use it to safely get across the street unassisted. All they need do is simply touch the button and wait for it to spin. When it spins, they know it’s time to go.

Unfortunately, not all crossings have these spinning “cones” as the decision is ultimately down to the local authority. Do you think that all crossing should be the same? We do.

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