The Regional Municipality of Durham

News Release

New pedestrian signals make Durham Region more accessible

WHITBY, ON November 26, 2015

More than 50 pedestrian signals across Durham Region are now equipped with accessible pedestrian signal (APS) functions to advise pedestrians who are blind, visually impaired, or deaf-blind when they have the right-of-way to cross a roadway.

“Since 2008, the Works Department has installed accessible pedestrian signals at intersections across Durham Region,” says Susan Siopis, Director of Transportation and Field Services for the Durham Region Works Department.  "All new traffic control signals with pedestrian 'walk and 'don't walk' displays will be equipped with APS devices, and all existing signalized intersections will be upgraded by priority in consultation with the Durham Accessibility Advisory Committee.”

Accessible Pedestrian Signals, with vibrotactile functions are activated when the pedestrian pushbutton is pressed and held for at least five seconds. Pedestrians will hear a “pop” sound from the button to confirm that APS has been activated. If the button is not held down for at least five seconds, it will function like a regular pedestrian signal, without sounds.

Accessible Pedestrian Signal

When an APS is activated, audible tones and tactile arrows are used to distinctly indicate the direction in which the pedestrian has the right-of-way, in addition to the regular pedestrian ‘Walk’ and ‘Don’t Walk’ signal displays.

Audible tones include:

The APS sounds and locator tones automatically adjust to ambient sound levels. Typically this occurs during peak traffic periods where the APS volume will automatically increase in relation to the ambient sound levels. During off-peak periods (such as overnight), they drop to the lowest volume level.

For more information, including a list of all Durham intersections equipped with APS and the ability to listen to audio recordings of the audible tones, visit

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For more information, please contact Corporate Communications.