KGUN 9NewsOperation Safe Roads


Understanding HAWK Lights

ADOT: Rules of the Road
Posted at 8:31 AM, Jul 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-26 11:49:16-04

TUCSON, Ariz. -- We see them around Tucson, but what are the rules of the road when it comes to HAWK Lights?

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, a HAWK beacon or Pedestrian Hybrid beacon is a traffic control device that allows pedestrians to cross busy streets without needing to go to an intersection.

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A viewer reached out to KGUN9's Operation Safe Roads asking for an explainer on how drivers and pedestrians are to properly use the traffic signals.

ADOT says when someone want to cross, the person must push a button which then causes the yellow lights on the beacon to flash for a few seconds before turning a solid red. When this happens, drivers must then come to a complete stop, just light a regular stoplight. Pedestrians can then cross the street when the signal turns from a "do not walk" sign to a "walk" sign.

As the person crosses, the solid red light will start to flash. Drivers will still need to stop, but can proceed with caution once the crosswalk is clear. A countdown on the pedestrian signs will then begin and then turn into a "do not walk" signal. When this happens, pedestrians must press the button again and wait to cross the road.

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When the beacon lights are off, drivers do not have to stop.