Winged zebra crossings to up traffic safety in Flanders

Flanders has given the go ahead for a roll out of so called "winged" zebra crossings.  The crossings are supposed to help reduce accidents involving lorry drivers who experience a blind spot in their mirror view.

A pilot project conducted by the Roads and Traffic Agency showed that winged zebra crossings increase traffic safety.

Lorry drivers often have their view of a zebra crossing impaired by a blind spot.  Because of this blind spot drivers experience difficulty seeing if the zebra crossing is free or not.  This is above all a problem when groups, including groups of schoolchildren try to cross.  If the lorry proceeds and there are still people on the crossing the results can be devastating.

The new type of zebra crossing's been tested in Melle (East Flanders) and Bruges (West Flanders).  Zottegem (East Flanders) is the next town to get a winged zebra crossing.  In this type of crossing the lines are elongated against the direction of the traffic.  A normal zebra crossing has stripes some 4 metres long.  In the winged version the stripes are elongated to up to 9 metres.  Drivers are encouraged to stop earlier and get a more comprehensive view of the situation.

The new zebra crossings will first and foremost be installed near kindergartens and primary schools.  Dozens of locations along regional roads have been selected for tests to be carried out.