Barrier Free Blind Japan Travel

Survey conducted by Japanese newspaper reveals 80% of traffic signals to aid the blind turned off due to noise complaints

A survey conducted by the Japanese newspaper The Mainichi Shimbun that more than 80% of Japan's accessible pedestrian signals, traffic lights that also produce sounds to let pedestrians with visual impairments know when it's safe to cross the road, have their noise-making function muted for at least part of the day, the newspaper’s survey of the country's 47 prefectural police forces has found.

By Barrier Free Japan

December 31 2020

A survey conducted by the Japanese newspaper The Mainichi Shimbun that more than 80% of Japan’s accessible pedestrian signals, traffic lights that also produce sounds to let pedestrians with visual impairments know when it’s safe to cross the road, have their noise-making function muted for at least part of the day, the newspaper’s survey of the country’s 47 prefectural police forces discovered.

The survey showed that many of the accessible signals, also called audible pedestrian signals, only produce sounds during the daytime, often due to consideration for local residents who sometimes complain about the noise produces by such signals.

The blind, the visually impaired and people with disabilities in Japan have attempted to highlight the dangers that indeqaute signage and lack of alerts when crossing roads or at train stations can cause.

Associations representing people with impaired vision are calling on the Japanese government to boost safety measures.

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