Several High-intensity Activated Cross Walk or HAWK traffic signals are scheduled to be installed in Georgia, in and around Atlanta, this month.
The HAWK signals were developed by city traffic engineers in Tucson, Arizona. When not in use, the signal stays dark and traffic flows freely. When a pedestrian or bicyclist wants to cross the road, they press a button. The overhead signals flash yellow lights, followed by a solid yellow and a solid red; this stops traffic so the person can cross. The solid red light is followed by flashing red lights. Drivers are permitted to proceed if the crosswalk is clear at that time. Then the signal goes dark again.
Researchers compared before-and-after crash data at 21 HAWK sites in Arizona. They found that the signals led to a 13% to 29% reduction in all motor vehicle crashes and a 50% drop in pedestrian accidents.
While the signals have been around for almost ten years, states needed special permission from the Federal Highway Administration to install HAWKs. However, they are now permitted and the Georgia Department of Transportation plans to make use of the new signals.
Shane Smith Law represent victims of Georgia pedestrian accidents in and around Atlanta. If you have been injured in an Atlanta pedestrian accident, call 770-HURT-999 for more information.
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