Safety as a role model
Unlighted bus stops and passenger shelters in dark surroundings are a source of danger to the people who actually seek protection from them. School children, whose attention is often on very different things other than approaching vehicles, are affected in particular. Fluorescent stickers with warnings and clear symbols help increase car drivers´ attention day and night. Modern lighting systems also increase the safety of those waiting. Exemplary safety measures that should be role models.
Reflecting on safety
The easiest way to increase the passive safety of passenger shelters is the use of reflective films. Pasted to side panels and rear walls, they reflect light emanating from vehicle headlights, regardless of the angle of incidence, in its direction of origin. The intensity with which the impacting light is reflected corresponds to different reflective or power classes (RA1, RA2, RA3). The higher the reflective class, the stronger the effect. The choice of the right reflective class when using reflective foils depends on the place of installation/location/purpose.
The rule of thumb here is: the brighter the environment, the higher the reflective class required, the higher the permitted driving speed, the higher the reflective class has to be. For passenger shelters on bad or unlit highways where vehicles drive past at high speed, high reflective classes are recommended, as light reflection is perceived more quickly. In a downtown installation situation, perhaps even in a 30 km/h zone, a low reflective class is sufficient, but if the environment itself is illuminated or has conspicuous light sources, a higher class which can hold ground with the ambient light makes sense.
Important: It is not the pure brightness of an object that determines its perceptibility, but the contrast in which it stands with its surroundings. Unmistakable messages, such as “Caution school route!” and corresponding symbols additionally increase the attention-getting effect of reflective foils. Glued-on foils also help to avoid the risk of collisions between birds and glass surfaces at waiting areas.
Highlights with LEDs
LED systems for lighting waiting areas and passenger shelters can also increase passengers´ safety. On the one hand, they provide a secure feeling for those who do not like to be in the dark – which is likely to apply to most people. Thefts and harassment, if not prevented, are thus at least hampered. The extremely energy-saving and at the same time high-intensity systems can either be designed as visible lights or integrated into the shelter system. In the second variant, they illuminate glass surfaces and printed or etched motifs indirectly.
Designers will always have one thing to weigh up: the more subtle the lighting is the lesser the likelihood is that it will have a signal-effect on drivers of vehicles. What is required for bus stops at schools or school routes may seem rather inappropriate for inner city boulevards for aesthetic reasons and, due to lower vehicle speeds, possibly also superfluous. In any case, technically all options are available.