Smart road lights introduced to prevent lane drifting
08 October 2018
Author: Sean Keywood
Highways England has introduced smart lights in the road surface for the first time at a major motorway junction.
The LED studs, which light up when traffic lights turn green, are designed to help drivers stay in the correct lane.
They are visible from up to 900m away, and have been introduced at Switch Island in Merseyside, where the M57, M58 and three A-roads all meet.
Cables under the road surface connect the studs to traffic lights through a nearby controller unit, allowing them to be automatically switched on when the lights turn green.
Highways England previously installed the lights at Hindhead Tunnel in Surrey, but this is the first time they have been linked to traffic lights at a motorway junction.
Highways England project manager Phil Tyrrell said: "We've found that some drivers can start drifting between lanes when they travel through the junction and the new LED road studs are a great way of guiding drivers and helping them stay in the correct lane, avoiding the risk of a collision.
"We're keen to use new ideas to improve safety at Highways England and the new smart studs will benefit tens of thousands of drivers who travel through Switch Island every day."
The lights were designed by Clearview Intelligence, whose director of solutions Andy Salotti said: "This is the first time a project involving dynamic delineation has ever been introduced at a major motorway junction on the strategic road network in England.
"The LED road studs which illuminate in synchronisation with the green traffic signals will provide drivers with clear and enhanced lane guidance through the complex junction.
"This solution will reduce the potential of drivers drifting out of their lane, therefore reducing the number of incidents at a key interchange and the subsequent congestion and increased driver frustration which is caused by such road traffic collisions."