Traffic Light Report No.48 - RTB GmbH & Co. KG


Traffic Light Report No.48 - RTB GmbH & Co. KG

No | 48

Spring 2009 Volume 20



Light Report

GDV studies on the Dialogue-Display

Discussions on the economy in Berlin

Study of the big.DD


3 Permanent


Studies on the


4 Emotional Intelligence

Motivation works better

than penalties

5 Comprehensive


GDV is positively


6/7 Mobile Future

Discussions on the

economy in Berlin

8 Visionary Concept

Humans are not


9 Visible Bus Stops

More safety in

rural areas

10 Efficient Traffic Signals

for Blind Persons

More mobility for

blind persons

11 This & That


Dear Readers !

The streets of Berlin have always offered RTB possibilities

and set new standards. As early as the beginning of the

1990s, the federal capital city did pioneering work with

the application of acoustical supplementary equipment

for traffic light facilities. Thanks to a very dedicated

Association of the Blind and innovative acousticians, new

ideas were developed, which we transferred to the wellknown

RTB acoustical signal transmitters. Today, the push

button which was developed a bit later is being used

along with the transmitter world-wide.

In the 13 districts of Berlin about 100 Dialogue-Displays

have been installed by RTB. They provide a valuable contribution

to street traffic safety. The city has assumed a

pioneering role in this area as well. This is emphasized by

the Department of Accident Research of the Association

of German Insurers (UDV of the GDV) in a comprehensive

investigation which had very positive results. The Berlin

district authorities could access and evaluate the traffic

data gathered by the Dialogue-Display online at any time

with DD.web.

Our new classification device,, has also earned

a place in Berlin’s streets. Presently, for example, it is being

used to detect bicycles. The Lord Mayor of Berlin, Klaus

Wowereit, likes to describe his city as “poor but sexy“.

We would like to pick up and expand on this, since we see

Berlin as „poor but sexy and innovative“.

In the future, we shall continue to follow up on

suggestions which the market place offers and integrate

them into innovative products. In doing so, we have,

over the years, been strongly supported by scientific


Please use this dialogue – we would be happy to follow

up on your suggestions !

Dipl.- Ing. (FH)

Dipl.-Wirt. Ing. (FH)

Studies on the Dialogue-Display

A multitude of studies prove the optimization with no loss of effectiveness as time passes

Several studies prove that the Dialogue-Display

reduces speed permanently and thus makes a

significant contribution to traffic safety. The investigations,

which were conducted in a scientific

framework, show a permanent effect with no

loss of effectiveness as time passes.

A statement by the Senate Administration of

Berlin shows how important continuity is in

combating the most frequent cause of accidents:

“In an accident involving a pedestrian, the reduction

of speed can make the difference between

life and death.“ A longitudinal study started in

2004 at a pedestrian crosswalk in the Lützow

Street in Berlin has shown that speed has been

permanently reduced:


Vd = 38,1 km/h measurement values of the Senate of Berlin

Installation 2004

Vd = 28,9 km/h measurement values of the Dialogue-Display

Measurement 2007

Vd = 28,7 km/h measurement values of the Dialogue-Display

Measurement 2009

Vd = 29,5 km/h measurement values of the Dialogue-Display

Studies about the Dialogue-Display

Also, in Chemnitz, the emotional dialogue has

had a permanent effect. At a pedestrian crosswalk

the number of car drivers who stopped to

let pedestrians cross increased by 130.6 % and at

the same time, the number of drivers who disregarded

the right of way of pedestrians sank by

69.5 %. Furthermore, there were clearly fewer

situations in which pedestrians were “pushed“

from the street.

In Lemsell the Dialogue-Display was installed within the main

thoroughfare which was only 250 m long. The number of vehicles

which traveled faster than 55 km/h sank by about 50%.

TU Dresden: Frankfurt am Main 2/2005

Chemnitz 8/2005

Versmold 11/2006

Horn-Bad Meinberg 5/2007

Lemsell 8/2008

GDV / TU Dresden: Berlin 2/2009

TU München: Bad Bentheim 2/2009

München still in progress

City of Kaiserslautern: Kaiserslautern 10/2008

FH Karlsruhe: Kreis Paderborn 7/2003

Uni Kassel: Twistetal 8/2007

Senate Berlin: Berlin 4/2005

Institute CROW: Almelo 6/2007

2 | 3

Traffic Light Report No. 48

Motivation Works Better Than Penalties

Dialogue-Display brings emotional intelligence into street traffic

A friendly and individual communication, from

which the car driver can detach himself only

with difficulty – that is the principle emotional

basis of the Dialogue-Display. Instead of a

catalogue of penalties, which has long lost its

preventive effect, positive motivation works

better. If the speed limited is obeyed, the driver

sees a “THANKS“ in green LED letters. If the

speed limit is exceeded, a red “SLOW DOWN“

lights up.

The individual design variations for the front of

the display make it possible to use it at different

locations with differing goals. Here is a survey of

some applications:

■ Increasing safety for children near schools /


■ Protecting pedestrians at crosswalks

■ Reducing noise for residents of streets with

heavy traffic

■ Protecting bicyclists when they cross intersections

or side streets

■ Warning at railroad crossings

■ Environmental protection (e.g. when frogs

migrate or beavers cross)

Internet Evaluation with DD.web

The data collected by the Dialogue-Display

can be transferred to a server in the internet

via GPRS. By using his personal log-in information

at any computer, the user can access

this data. The online-evaluation program,

DD.web, takes over the processing of the data

to make its presentation possible.

Ask for a demo access at

Railroad crossing

Protection from noise

Pedestrian crosswalk

Protecting animals

Dangerous area



Computer /




GSM module

GDV is Positively Surprised

Comprehensive investigation at four locations in Berlin

Together with the Technical University of

Dresden, the Department of Accident Research

of the Association of German Insurers (GDV)

conducted a research project entitled “Praise and

Scolding – Effects of the Dialogue-Display“. The

results speak for themselves: at four locations in

Berlin significant behavioral changes on the part

of drivers could be observed.

Depending on the respective location, the speed

parameters (V , V ) sank up to 6 km/h. The

mean 85

percentage of drivers, who exceeded the speed

limit (V ) fell clearly up to 64 %. Furthermore,


the pedestrians surveyed at two locations gave a

unanimously positive response; they definitely

felt safer when the Dialogue-Display was in


According to the GDV, the Dialogue-Display

is particularly recommended for safety in

sensitive areas (e.g. pedestrian crosswalks,

schools, day care centers for children or facilities

for senior citizens). At locations where

accidents occur frequently, one must first

analyze whether or not construction measures

could alleviate the problem. Siegfried Brockmann,

Director of the UDV (Department of

Accident Research of the Insurers in the GDV),

drew a clear conclusion: “We were positively surprised

by the results!”

A Portrait of the GDV

The Association of German Insurers, with it

headquarters in Berlin, is an umbrella

organization for private insurers in Germany.

Through more than 400 million insurance

policies, its 468 member companies, with

about 226,000 employees and trainees,

The Berlin Senator, Ingeborg Junge-Reyer, underscored

this: “The Dialogue-Display has proven it

effectiveness. With the help of this measure and

with sanctions, we can successfully and clearly

improve traffic discipline. Dialogue-Displays thus

play and important role in increasing the safety of

all those participating in traffic.“

provide for comprehensive risk protection

and security for private households and

industry, businesses and public agencies. The

GDV coordinates and represents the policies

of the German insurers in society, politics,

business, media and science.

4 | 5

Traffic Light Report No. 48

Discussions on the Economy in Berlin

Federal Minister of Traffic Tiefensee talks about mobility in the future

In February 2009 a large number of representatives

from politics and business gathered for

a discussion of the economy in Berlin to talk

about the topic: “Structuring Traffic Socially and

Permanently – Strengthening Business Locations!“

As the guest speaker, Federal Minister of

Traffic Wolfgang Tiefensee talked about the

mobility of the future. In his widely respected

speech Minister Tiefensee dealt mainly with

three aspects which have central importance for

street traffic.

Rapidly growing freight transport

In this area a master plan with 37 projects has

been initiated. These projects are to be pressed

onward with all available means. Among

other things, an intelligent networking of the

individual traffic systems, the reduction and

control of traffic and the intelligent expansion of

traffic arteries are being pursued. The European

satellite navigation system Galileo will definitely

play an important role in this in the coming


Protection of environment and climate

One clear goal must be: “Stop using oil !” Germany

should become the leading trend setter in

the market area of electronic mobility. By the

year 2020, there should be one million rechargeable

electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles on

German streets. Wolfgang Tiefensee emphasized:

“Electric vehicles with batteries and

fuel cells are the future. Here lies the great

potential for a long term reduction of CO emis-


sions.” The federal government is investing 500

million in research and further development.

Source: Elke A. Jung-Wolff

Demographic development and

social aspects

Mobility must remain affordable. Funding mobility

must be possible for parents and families.

Disadvantaged persons must also be able to get

around. In the Economic Package II, the motto is

“An elevator is better than evacuation!” This

means that the autonomy of older persons in

their own four walls should be encouraged, thus

Die you know, that Wolfgang Tiefensee . . .

. . . following his high school graduation,

completed training as a technician in telecommunications

in 1973?

. . . gained a degree as an engineer for

industrial electronics in 1979?

Talking Acoustic

Signal Transmitters

We have rediscovered the speech output and

integrated it in the fourth generation of RTB

acoustical signal transmitters. Sporadically it had

already been used in traffic light facilities in

Tübingen or in light rail transit. Thus, in an individual

fashion, visually impaired persons could

be made aware of things such as safety islands.

One must, however, realize that the spoken

messages are merely intended to be an aid to

orientation and do not assume a guiding function.

The signal tones used so far are clearly

distinguishable from ambient noise and are thus

a better guide. This has been documented in

scientific opinions.

avoiding a premature move into care facilities.

Socially acceptable ticket prices for public

transportation are another aspect. After all,

public transportation is used by about 10 million

people a day. This capacity must be forcefully

expanded. Of course, the economy must also be

considered. It is not just the workers but the

entire economic area that is affected by the

traffic system, since in all fields, transportation is


. . . is a specialist engineer for computer

science and construction engineering?

. . . since 1988 has the degree of chartered

engineer for electro-technology?

...could thus work at RTB?

6 | 7

Traffic Light Report No. 48

Humans Are Not Perfect

VISION ZERO reveals new insights into traffic safety

Fatalities in street traffic are a world wide

problem. Each year about 1.4 million persons die

in street traffic. The World Health Organization

(WHO) lists street traffic as the ninth most common

cause of death in the world. Forecasts point

to a rise in the number of traffic fatalities to over

2 million. In order to counteract this, a large

number of countries in the European Union

support the safety philosophy VISION ZERO.

The core of this philosophy is a safe traffic system

and the insight that humans, as a part of this

system, are not perfect. This basic tenet means

that the system must be geared to the biological

tolerance of humans. For this we have scientifically

documented bench marks:

■ Most persons struck by a vehicle traveling at a

speed of 30 km/h survive.

■ Most persons struck by a vehicle traveling at a

speed of 50 km/h die.


A current study by the Alliance insurance

company makes it clear: older persons are

more frequently victims rather than causers

of traffic accidents. Less than 11 % of all

accidents in Germany are caused by senior

citizens. However, the percent of fatally injured

senior citizens (23 %) is higher than the

percentage of population of this group.

Particularly pedestrians, bicyclists and fellow

passengers are endangered. Senior citizen

pedestrians are mainly victims of fatal

accidents within city limits. The Alliance has

signed the EU Charter for traffic safety with

the goal of cutting the number of fatalities in

half by the year 2010.

■ A safe car provides its passengers protection in

a head-on collision at speeds from 65 – 70 km/h

and in a lateral collision at speed from 45 – 50

km/h – assuming the passengers use safety


The New Year’s reception of the German Traffic

Safety Council (DVR) and the German Traffic

Watch (DVW) highlighted VISION ZERO. As chairman

of the board of the Traffic Ministers’ Conference,

Gerold Wucherpfennig affirmed: “Priority

is given to networking all those involved, in

order to achieve a concerted action on the federal

and state level. The wide participation of the

states in the DVR traffic safety campaign ‘Get Off

the Accelerator!’ is a good example.” VISION

ZERO offers a clear guideline when conflicting

goals exist: When in doubt, traffic safety


Source: German Traffic Safety Council, Bonn.

More Safety in Rural Areas

Study of the big.DD at bus stops in Bad Bentheim

Installation of the big.DD (Source: Holger Kloth, Bentheim County)

As part of a pilot project to improve safety at bus

stops, the county of Bad Bentheim decided to

install the big.DD. The installation of the facility

is incorporated in a study of dialogue systems in

traffic by the Department of Traffic Technology

of the TU Munich under the direction of Prof.

Dr.-Ing. Fritz Busch.

The test facility was installed on Federal Highway

B 403, which connects the towns of Nordhorn

and Bad Bentheim. Several bus stops, which are

used mainly by school pupils, are located along

the road. For this reason, the times of operation

of the big.DD sign were set to match the times

when pupils used the busses.

The device registered the speed of approaching

vehicles. When the speed was within the legal

limit, the signal “ATTENTION” was displayed.

If the speed exceeded the limit, the signals

“ATTENTION” and “DANGER” were displayed


There are many applications for the big.DD.

Whether indicating bus stops on heavily

traveled roads as in Bad Bentheim or warning

about deer passes as in Borken County or

alternately. The legal speed on this federal

highway is 100 km/h. However, during the study

phase various speed limits (from 80 to 100 km/h)

were set.

The results of the study are quite clear: In comparison

to the pretest, the specific values

dropped by 5 to 9 km/h. The clearest effects were

achieved on weekdays between 6.00 a.m. and

8.00 a.m. Obviously the commuters who traveled

this route regularly were most influenced by the

signals. A reduction in the effectiveness with the

passage of time could not be verified.

Arial photo of the test area (Source: Google Maps,

pointing out dangerous stretches of roads or

intersections for car drivers and motorcycle

riders as in Steinfurt – safety is increased in

any event !

8 | 9

Traffic Light Report No. 48

Mehr Mobility for Blind Persons

Simple retrofitting with signalization for blind persons

It is not exactly easy for blind and low vision

persons to travel unhindered in urban environments.

What sighted persons usually do not

notice at all, can be an enormous source of danger

for blind persons. Some examples, taken from

daily life, show where problems can be found.

Construction sites are often marked only

with plastic strips, which offer no protection to

visually impaired persons.

■ Signs, which are installed temporarily, often

are at a height which can cause serious head


■ Obstacles hanging at head level, protruding

building segments, branches and thorny

bushes along the path – these are all dangers

which a blind person may not recognize in


Of course, traffic light facilities should be

equipped with signals for blind persons. But not

every community has the necessary financial

means for the costly retrofitting of existing

traffic light facilities. It’s a good thing that the


The net.1 system is a communication module

for appropriately equipped signal transmitters

for blind persons. These transmitters

must have a traffic light push button and an

SVA control device. The great number of control

cables between the control device and

the traffic light pole can be reduced by net.1

to just one cable per pole.

More informationens about net.1 at

new net.1 system offers a possibility for inexpensive

retrofitting of existing facilities – of course,

this has the approval of the companies which

manufacture traffic light facilities.

Many vitally important signs go unnoticed by a blind person

This & That

An Invitation to

See for yourself how the new functions

– vehicle classification at the highest level.

Our test facility in Bad Lippspringe offers you the

possibility to get a direct impression of the

reliable collection and evaluation of data

from flowing traffic. Numerous customers have

already taken advantage of this opportunity.

Simply fill out the enclosed fax reply – we shall

get in touch with you promptly!

SightCity 2009


rom May 13 through 15, 2009 the largest trade

exhibition in Germany for aids for blind and low

vision persons will take place in Frankfurt am

Main. Manufacturers from throughout the world

will be presenting innovations and time tested

articles from the aids market. Of course, RTB will

be there as an exhibitor (Stand F12).

We look forward to your visit !

Mobile Zebra Stripes

At the beginning of February in Augsburg,

“Chiko” and his friends caused a short term

increase in the traffic safety work of the police.

The four zebras escaped from the zoo and

kept several patrol cars busy avoiding unwanted


10 | 11


RTB GmbH & Co.KG, Geschäftsführer Rudolf Broer

Schulze-Delitzsch-Weg 10, 33175 Bad Lippspringe,

Tel. + 49 (0) 52 52 - 97 06-0,Fax + 49 (0) 52 52 - 97 06-10,


HACK PR- und Werbeagentur GmbH, 33175 Bad Lippspringe


Machradt, Graphischer Betrieb, 33175 Bad Lippspringe

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