Edinburgh road safety app campaign launched

Anais Moisy, whose team won a prize for eyecatching road safety phone app innovations. Picture: Malcolm McCurrach

Anais Moisy, whose team won a prize for eyecatching road safety phone app innovations. Picture: Malcolm McCurrach

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A MOBILE phone game that docks you points for jaywalking and an app that warns users about accident blackspots were among the ideas put forward at a brainstorming session to make city streets safer.

Green men could soon be out of work all over the Capital if the zany suggestions made at the EdinburghApps Road Safety Hackathon to encourage pedestrians not to dart across busy roads without looking are taken forward.

No idea was too outlandish to be considered at the event, run by Transport for Edinburgh and the city council.

Others included illuminated surfaces at pedestrian crossings that light up when stepped on, like a scene from a Michael Jackson music video.

Data gurus, software designers and members of the public were asked for their solutions to help reduce the number of accidents on Edinburgh roads.

Participants were given access to reams of co uncil and police traffic data to help them identify road safety hotspots and work out how best to try and influence people’s behaviour.

Two ideas for mobile apps were crowned winners, one which rates roads on their safety, and another that turns crossing a street safely into a game, rewarding users with points that can be exchanged for discount vouchers in local shops.

Edinburgh College of Art interior design graduate Anais Moisy, 27, whose team came up with both the crossing game and the light-up streets, said she wanted to encourage people with incentives rather than just warnings.

“What I was trying to do was to improve pedestrian crossings to encourage people to use them more, by changing their design and changing people’s behaviour,” she said.

“I think one of the problems when I look at pedestrian crossings is that many don’t even have white markings – just small metal plates.

“You just don’t see it, and sometimes you’re looking for a pedestrian crossing and you don’t notice it.”

City digital economy
champion Councillor Frank Ross, who helped judge the entries, said: “We saw a
fantastic range of ideas over the weekend demonstrating the relevance of new technology to everyday life in Edinburgh.

“It was exciting to witness creative thinking in action amongst participants, who made inventive use of council and partner data to promote road safety.

“EdinburghApps is a valuable new event for the city, and I look forward to watching winning entries being developed into useful solutions.”