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Watch For Flashing Lights in Pedestrian Walkways

Okay, time for a little traffic signal review…

Ohhhh… you think it’s gonna be a piece of cake, huh? Fine. Let’s begin.

1) A flashing yellow light means… caution. (Easy one.)

2) A solid red light at an intersection means…. stop. (Duh.)

3) A flashing red light at an intersection means…. treat it like a four-way stop. (Nice.)

4) Two flashing lights at a pedestrian crossway means…. whaaaattt?

Well? Stumped?

Don’t be. This is relatively new is Las Vegas. But you may have seen this signal on Sahara Avenue between Maryland Parkway and Eastern Avenue. There’s a heavily-marked pedestrian walkway which has three lights arranged in a triangle above it.

The bottom one turns yellow when a pedestrian is about to cross. Then the top two turn red while the pedestrian is crossing.

But then the two red lights start flashing alternately (like at a railroad crossing). That means you can drive through the crosswalk if there is no one about to cross.

This new pedestrian crosswalk is known as a high-intensity activated crosswalk – or a HAWK signal for short. (Not sure where they get HAWK from, but oh well.) According to research, it has done an excellent job of cutting down on auto-pedestrian accidents in high-foot traffic areas. So you might start seeing more of them in the valley in the years to come.

Remember – if you strike a pedestrian while he or she is in a crosswalk and you don’t have a green light (or in the case of a HAWK signal – no light at all), then you are responsible for the injuries to or death of the victim and could be sued for damages. So be careful!

Contact Naqvi Injury Law for more information.