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Locator Tones for Pedestrian Signals

Bentzen, Billie, Barlow, Janet, Gubbé, Douglas,

Academic Literature

2000

The two primary problems experienced by visually impaired persons at pedestrian-actuated intersections are determining whether there is a pushbutton and locating the push button. Many countries routinely require the use of a locator tone.

Typically emanating from the push-button housing, a pushbutton locator tone indicates to pedestrians that they are expected to push a button to request a pedestrian phase. It enables visually impaired pedestrians to locate the push button quickly and efficiently. Research was undertaken to determine the effect of locator tone repetition rate on efficiency of pedestrians' location of the push-button pole.

The results show that push-button locator tones should have a standardized repetition rate between 1.0 Hz and 1.2 Hz so that it may be ensured that visually impaired pedestrians can efficiently locate push buttons. Locator tones need be no more than 5 dB louder than ambient traffic sound.

Publication information

Journal/Publication : Transportation Research Record

Location : North America

Domain/s: Transport and communication

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