I've been to Germany twice now: Once to Berlin and once to Bielefeld.

Both places had these yellow boxes with the same pattern at pedestrian crossings.

enter image description here

At first I thought they were to press for crossing, but there doesn't seem to be any way to actually press them so I'm confused as to what their role is.

What exactly are they for?


They are an aid for the visually and aurally impaired.

They vibrate when the light turns green.

Please see this and this.


They are for the visual impaired people. Source

The symbol means:

2 Black Dots on top, and 1 on the bottom mean that the person wearing the symbol is visually impaired, 1 black dot on the top, and 2 on the bottom show that the person is deaf.

There's a button on the bottom:

Despite what many would think now, the button doesn’t make the light turn green any faster. What it does do is vibrate when the light turns green, and in some cases it even prolongs the time that the light stays green.

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    I'm not sure the first quotation is true. For all my life (living in Germany), I was taught "a triangle made out of three black dots on yellow, that means blind", without any distinction of the orientation. And here's a website (in German) that describes the symbol for blind people, and both orientations appear in the photos on the page. It also cites a German law that, again, merely mentions "a yellow sign with three black dots", without specifying an orientation. Mar 22 '19 at 12:26
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    I have met a lot of deaf people in Germany and never seen one wearing this three dot symbol (Have not met one who is both deaf and blind, though). Why would a deaf person want to wear such a symbol? So you can tell him/her twice if she has not heard you the first time?
    – Jan
    Mar 22 '19 at 13:12
  • The idea behind it seems to be that traffic can see that someone is visually impaired/blind. It seems like it's only known in Austria and partly Germany. Someone asking if it exists outside of Germany: reddit.com/r/Blind/comments/8nv5bp/… Mar 22 '19 at 13:21
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    Re. that badge for deaf people: there were apparently times when wearing this was also common for deaf people. It is just really out of fashion now. link : "These badges are extremely rare nowadays. Deaf people find them rather discriminatory".
    – Jan
    Mar 22 '19 at 13:37
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    @O.R.Mapper But this law associates this symbol with "Körperlich Behinderte" (physically impaired people). It doesn't concentrate on visually impaired only.
    – glglgl
    Mar 22 '19 at 14:51

It's for visually impaired pedestrians. There is a button on the bottom of the box. Some of them are vibrating and others are beeping to indicate when you can cross the road.

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