City of West Columbia promotes traffic signal safety on Sunset Boulevard

A new traffic signal is now on Sunset Boulevard. Some drivers have reported they are unsure of how to proceed when the lights are flashing red. Drivers should treat the flashing signal as a stop sign and proceed when the roadway is clear of pedestrian traffic. The City of West Columbia has installed new signs to help drivers know what to do.

The City of West Columbia created signs describing how to use the High-Intensity Activated Crosswalk Beacon (HAWK) on Sunset Boulevard near Klapman Boulevard in front of the House of Raeford. SCDOT approved the new signs. The signal is one of two such signals installed in the Midlands area. A HAWK signal is a traffic control device used to stop road traffic and allow pedestrians to cross safely. The signal creates a point on Sunset Boulevard where traffic will be stopped intermittently. The signal is used as follows:

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Flashing Yellow Light: Use caution, keep driving
Solid Yellow Light: Use caution, be prepared to stop
Solid Red Light: Stop
Flashing Red Light: Stop and proceed when clear (Treat as a stop sign)
Dark until Activated: Proceed as normal

Mayor Bobby Horton applauded the City’s collaboration with SCDOT to create a safer road crossing at a busy area along Sunset Boulevard. “Our goal,” Mayor Horton said, “is to continue making West Columbia a pedestrian-friendly city for our citizens and our visitors. The HAWK traffic signal is just another example of our commitment to provide a clean and safe place to live, work, and enjoy.”

The on-demand signal known as a High-Intensity Activated Crosswalk Beacon, or HAWK, allows pedestrians to safely cross the busy roadway between Capitol Square Shopping Center and the House of Raeford poultry processing plant. The HAWK is a traffic control device initiated by pedestrians that intermittently halts road traffic and allows people to safely cross at a specific stopping point. Motorists first will see the flashing yellow light as a warning to slow down and prepare to stop. When motorists see the solid red light, they must stop until all pedestrians safely cross the road, the solid red light then turns to a blinking red light. At this time, the light should be treated as a stop sign and motorists can proceed if the roadway is clear. The light will then turn off and traffic can proceed as usual.

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