New traffic signals make it safer for pedestrians

[B' Spokes: Again something I don't think we will see in Maryland as it seems to be the "best" engineering practice here that fast traffic needs to go even faster and cannot be delayed in the slightest, while slower traffic does not mind at all going even slower, suffering long delays and/or long detours. When are we going to realize that people are people and they need to be accommodated irregardless of mode of transpiration and that faster modes of travel can make up small delays while the slower modes cannot. Remember we have the sixth highest pedestrian traffic fatality rate for a reason.]
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A new kind of traffic signal in Delaware, the High-intensity Activated Cross Walk, or HAWK, became active Friday and will make crossing Delaware 72 safer for students beginning this semester, state transportation officials say.
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Delaware joins a growing number of states and cities around the country, including Georgia, Minnesota, Virginia and Arizona [but not Maryland], with HAWK signals that allow people to cross a busy road, either at an intersection without a standard traffic signal or in the middle of a long stretch of road.
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The solid red light is followed by flashing red lights, allowing drivers to proceed if the crosswalk is clear. The signal then goes dark again and traffic flows freely. Researchers with the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University last year compared before-and-after accident data at 21 HAWK sites in Tucson and found a 13% to 29% reduction in all crashes and a 50% drop in pedestrian accidents.
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<a href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-08-09-crosswalk09_ST_N.htm">http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-08-09-crosswalk09_ST_N.htm</a>;

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