Pedestrian deaths in the Unites States still remain high. From 2001 to 2010, 47, 392 pedestrian deaths have occurred in the Unites States. Most of these fatalities are adults. Approximately, every year 5,000 deaths+ are contributed to pedestrian versus auto crashes. In an effort to reduce pedestrian deaths and injury, a HAWK crosswalk has already been operating in Sacramento on Stockton Boulevard near UC Davis Hospital for over a year. This is a high foot traffic location. While the installation of the HAWK crosswalk is expensive, approximately $150,000 a piece, Sacramento has plans to put in nine additional crosswalks.
What is a HAWK crosswalk? A HAWK crosswalk is built specifically to provide pedestrians with added security when crossing a street. Instead of a light cycling from green to red for motorists, a few additional signals are added in an attempt to make sure the motorist is aware of the need to stop. When a pedestrian pushes the ‘walk’ button at a HAWK intersection, a signal will being to flash yellow to indicate to motorists that a pedestrian will soon be using the crosswalk. After flashing yellow, the signal will change to a solid yellow and then to a solid red. When the light cycles to a solid red, it is also accompanied by additional lights flashing red, which indicates that pedestrians are crossing. The hope is that the additional flashing yellow and flashing red signals will grab the motorists attention and help the motorist comply with stopping. The pedestrian also see something extra at HAWK intersections. The pedestrian is provided a flashing orange signal to notify the pedestrian that their time to cross the intersection is ending.