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New traffic light system in Speedway aims to keep pedestrians safe

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Posted at 11:56 AM, Dec 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-14 11:56:12-05

SPEEDWAY, Ind. -- Speedway Police are hoping to educate the public on a new traffic light system that aims to keep pedestrians safe.

According to a post on the Nextdoor page from Speedway Police, the Town of Speedway now has its second HAWK traffic light system. 

HAWK stands for high-intensity activated crosswalk. The newest system is now installed on High School Road between 25th and 30th Street.

The first HAWK traffic light system was installed earlier this year at 18th and Cunningham.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, at a HAWK crossing, drivers receive multiple cues to emphasize the potential presence of a pedestrian. It's used for roads that are high speed or when there are wide crossing conditions.

When the system is idle, the lights are in a dark position. At that time, drivers know that they can continue driving through the crosswalk.

When the beacon is activated by a pedestrian hitting a button, it goes to a flashing yellow light alerting traffic to come to a stop. The traffic lights will then change to a solid yellow light indicating drivers must stop. 

The light will then go to a solid red light. The signals will remain red until the pedestrian crosses the street. Once that happens, the lights will flash red allowing drivers to pass through the crosswalk safely if the pedestrian has crossed.

After the pedestrian safely crosses the street, the lights go back dark.

During an educational video, Sgt. Mirantha Wilson with Speedway Police says pedestrians need to remember to continue checking the intersection for cars and not rely solely on the lights.

Along with the new HAWK system, the video states officers will increase patrols in the area of the new signals to enforce traffic violations.

In addition, crossing guards will remain in the area to help school children cross the street.

A third HAWK pedestrian signal is planned for High School Road and Hickorywood.