It is a new device that can detect hand wave in front of the pedestrian pushbutton to recognize and request for a pedestrian crossing at traffic signals. This is similar to pushing a pedestrian pushbutton which is also available for use. There are hand wave sensors on the APS assembly.


    Due to COVID-19, the pushbuttons at the traffic signals have been of some concern to pedestrians as it requires pedestrians to touch and push the button to request pedestrian crossing time. This device eliminates the need to touch and press. It can be activated by slow hand wave motion in front of the pushbutton within 3 inches from the pushbutton sensor.

    It uses infrared technology or radar to detect the presence of a hand or other objects within a few inches from the pushbutton to detect and place a pedestrian crossing request. This technology is widely used in many applications already like paper towel dispensers, soap dispensers, etc.

    The hand wave recognition is limited to about 3" away from the pushbutton to prevent false calls. When your hand wave is detected, the small red light on the pushbutton lights up and you will also hear the verbal "WAIT" message. This is the same confirmation you get when you push the pushbutton

    Just once or twice depending on how fast you are waving. Fast wave motions are sometimes not recognized to prevent false calls. One should hand wave within 3 inches of the pushbutton and do this again slowly if it is not detected on the first time. Holding your hand in front of the wave sensors or pressing the pushbutton for 2 seconds or longer will provide a more detailed verbal “WAIT” message specifying the road you are crossing.

    Try to do the hand wave slowly and make sure that you are less than 3 inches away from the pushbutton. If it still does not detect, use the pedestrian pushbutton on the device to activate the pedestrian crossing. Please report this problem via service request link on our website at www.countyroads.org. A technician will be dispatched to troubleshoot the device and fix any issues.

    Please report the location that you are having difficulty reaching the pushbutton to the city traffic engineering department. If this is at a signalized intersection on the expressways or in the unincorporated area, then report this to the County through service request on our website at www.countyroads.org. We will try to correct that issue. This contact-free pushbutton still requires someone to reach within 3 inches of the pushbutton to activate.

    The contact-free pushbutton has a sign that has been approved for use in CA. The special sign reads, "PUSH OR WAVE AT BUTTON". When you see this sign on the pushbutton then it has additional method to activate the signal in addition to the pushbutton press.

    This is the initial phase where we want to deploy at few intersections to test further and deploy them at other locations as and when funding becomes available.

    Providing pedestrian crossing time every cycle with or without pedestrians will lead to very inefficient way to operate the traffic signals and can lead to an unnecessary increase in tailpipe emissions, unintended consequences, and impacts safety at signalized intersections. Some signal locations are suitable for this type of treatment, but most others will require pedestrians to activate the pedestrian crossing time.

    Please talk to your city traffic engineering department and see if they are considering installing these devices or any other methods. If the intersection is on County Expressways or County maintained intersections, please send us a service request by visiting our website at www.countyroads.org. All requests will be evaluated and if it meets certain criteria then we will install these devices.

    Currently, we are using the pedestrian volume at signalized intersections as the main criteria. We will also be adding these near schools and major transit stops to further expand this program. In addition, we will be adding these devices to all new traffic signal projects to further expand installing these devices.

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