Santa Clara County installs state's first touch-free pedestrian crosswalk activation device

Installation of the first touch-free pedestrian crosswalk activation signal in Santa Clara County.

California's first touch-free pedestrian crosswalk activation 
device has been installed in Santa Clara County on Thursday in an effort to protect residents from COVID-19 transmission.

The contact-free devices, which will be located in 25 different 
expressway intersections in the county, are activated by waving a hand in front of them at a 1- to 3-inch distance.

"Humans can be creative when the occasion calls for it and that's 
exactly what our Roads and Airports Department has done," Supervisor Mike Wasserman said. "It's even better when we can innovate on a large scale, which is what makes today's installation and activation so significant."

The technology was developed by county Senior Civil Engineer 
Ananth Prasad, who got the prototype approved by Caltrans. 

"Traffic engineers are normally concerned with pedestrian safety 
related to traffic, in this case our traffic engineers are thinking about pedestrian safety for viruses," said Harry Freitas, director of the county Roads and Airports Department. 

Touch-free signal devices can be identified by signs placed on 
them that read "Wave at the Button."

Freitas shared that eventually, all signal crossing devices in the 
county will be touch-free.