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How to use a HAWK signal

Jan 19, 2024 | News

Two HAWK signals were recently installed in Whitestown. The HAWK signal on Main Street in front of Main Street Park is now operating. The second HAWK signal on Albert S. White Drive in front of the new Hussey Mayfield Memorial Library Whitestown branch has been installed and is planned to be operating by the time the library opens. There is also one located on Main Street in front of Boone Meadow Elementary that’s operating.

A High-Intensity Activated Crosswalk (HAWK) signal is a tool to help make it easier and safer for people to cross busy streets without impeding traffic.

HAWK signals operate in a FLASHING YELLOW–YELLOW–RED–ALTERNATING FLASHING RED sequence to alert motorists that pedestrians need to cross the road. ​

Unlike traffic signals, the HAWK signal only operates when a pedestrian pushes the crossing button. Vehicles are free to move when no one is crossing the street.

Motorists should respond to yellow and solid red lights in the same manner as any other traffic signal. After stopping for the red light, motorists may proceed through the crossing area during the flashing red light interval only when it is safe to do so without risk to pedestrians.

Here’s how it works:

  • When a pedestrian presses the button, approaching drivers will see a flashing yellow signal for a few seconds, indicating that the signal has been activated.
  • The flashing yellow is followed by a solid yellow signal, indicating that motorists should reduce speed and be prepared to stop.
  • The solid yellow is followed by double solid red signals, requiring drivers to stop.
  • The double solid red signals are followed by alternating flashing red signals. The signal will then go dark until activated again by a pedestrian.
  • During the alternating flashing red signal indication, drivers are required to come to a full stop but may proceed when pedestrians have cleared the crosswalk and it is safe to proceed.

While different in appearance to the driver, to the pedestrian this signal works the same as any button-activated traffic signal. Lights on the HAWK signal are activated when a pedestrian pushes the button at either end of the crossing. It may take up to one minute for the signal to change, depending on the time of day. Pedestrians should be sure traffic has stopped before entering the crosswalk.

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