The 12th City Council of Manila passed on third and final reading Thursday, 12 October 2023, an ordinance mandating the installation of audible traffic signals, with Braille-labeled push buttons, on city-owned pedestrian traffic lights. The measure aims to benefit the elderly, pregnant women, and persons with disabilities that use signal-controlled crossings in Manila.
According to the ordinance, an audible traffic signal provides visually impaired pedestrians with information on the status and relative location of pedestrian light signals. The control section navigates a person crossing by simultaneously emitting echoes as in “back and forth call operation” from the speakers placed at both ends of the crosswalk.
The push button, on the other hand, activates the countdown timer, which will give a pregnant woman or an elderly or disabled person ample time to cross the pedestrian lane.
The ordinance penalizes any person found tampering with audible and push button-equipped signals, or making use of them despite not being entitled thereto.
“These safety devices are commonly used in highly urbanized cities to assist pedestrians with disabilities while crossing lively streets and busy roads”, said First District Councilor Erick Ian “Banzai” O. Nieva, author of the measure. “The ordinance is in line with the city government’s mantra that says: ‘Dito sa Maynila, walang iniiwan, lahat kasama, lahat mahalaga’ ”, the Councilor added.