Translated from Reuters Japan
October 25 2020
The National Police Agency has decided to install equipment for the visually impaired on about 2,000 traffic lights in 2021 which uses smartphones to convey the color of signals by voice or vibration to support road crossing. The mainstream of crossing support systems for the visually impaired is the acoustic type, and as of March this year, just before the start of full-scale operation, there are only 74 locations in three prefectures, including Miyagi. The National Police Agency has allocated about 2.5 billion yen to the budget request for 2021 We would like to develop it from Tokyo and ordinance-designated cities, and then spread it nationwide.
According to the National Police Agency, eight visually impaired people were killed in a walking traffic accident and 66 were seriously or slightly injured in 2017-19, of which two were killed on a pedestrian crossing with a traffic light and 19 were seriously or slightly injured.