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Messages to receiver hardware

WALK indications of receiver-based systems can be provided by speech messages or by vibration of the handheld receiver. The pedestrian who is blind must have a receiver and point it at the pedhead to receive the verbal or vibratory message.

Basic issues
There are currently two technologies that provide speech messages to personal receivers.
  • Remote infrared audible signage (RIAS) is a system in which unique messages that are recorded in a transmitter are transmitted by infrared light to receivers.
  • LED pedestrian signals provide a system that can be pulsed to call up a limited selection of speech messages that are recorded in receivers.
If used, the speech messages must contain the words 'WALK Sign" and may also contain the name of the street to be crossed (MUTCD 4E.06).

Precise installation
When the pedhead-mounted transmitters in RIAS systems, and LED pedestrian signal heads are installed and maintained precisely in line with the associated crosswalk, they are both capable of providing very precise directional information to users without adding to noise pollution. If installed so that they are not within the crosswalk, or are not aimed directly across the crosswalk, the installation can lead to ambiguity about which crosswalk has the Walk interval, and to incorrect information about the location of the opposite corner.

Recommended use
PROWAAC recommended that the best use of receiver-based systems is to supplement APS having directly audible information, as receiver-dependent systems are accessible only to those persons who own, maintain and are currently using the appropriate receiver.

Draft Public Rights-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines require audible and vibrotactile indications of the Walk interval provided by a signal device located at the intersection.

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