Transportation - HAWK Pedestrian Crossing Signals


Pedestrian Safety

Salt Lake City places a high priority on pedestrian safety and is concerned about unprotected crossings of major streets.
In many cases, these crossings do not meet the required conditions for the installation of a conventional traffic signal, so the City utilizes other safety methods such as pedestrian warning signs and/or flashing yellow beacons.

Vehicles yielding to pedestrians

Utah law requires motorists to yield to pedestrians in a marked crosswalk. A new treatment, known as a HAWK Pedestrian Signal, which includes a red signal indicator, is now available and has shown to have up to a 97% driver compliance rate, comparable to a conventional traffic signal.
"HAWK" is an acronym for High intensity Activated crossWalK and was originated in Tucson, Arizona. This hybrid pedestrian signal has since been safely and successfully used throughout the United States. The signal has been approved and adopted into standard traffic engineering manuals.
While different in appearance to the driver, to the pedestrian this signal works the same as any button-activated traffic signal in Salt Lake City. It stops traffic with a red signal allowing pedestrians to cross safely.
Although it looks fairly similar to a traditional signalized pedestrian crossing, the HAWK functions a bit differently. When not in use, it will remain dark. The signal goes through a sequence of six movements after a pedestrian pushes the button. The HAWK signal begins flashing yellow to indicate to drivers someone will be using the crosswalk. It then goes to solid yellow like a typical traffic signal, advising drivers to stop if safe to do so. The signal then turns solid red, requiring drivers to stop at the stop line. Finally, the signal goes to flashing red, letting drivers know that after coming to a complete stop, they can proceed with caution if the way is clear - the same movement they would make at any other flashing red signal. The signal then returns to a dark state.
Using a HAWK signal as a pedestrian is easy. Simply push the button and wait for the Walk signal to appear. It may take up to one minute for the signal to change, depending on the time of day. Be sure traffic has stopped before you enter the crosswalk, and cross safely to the other side.
The flashing DON'T WALK signal will appear as you finish your crossing. Countdown numbers will show how much time remains to cross the street.