The city of Scottsdale has seen an uptick in pedestrian accidents in its bustling downtown area this year, and town officials may be turning to a crosswalk that was developed right here in Arizona to improve safety.
Just days ago, two women were crossing E. Camelback Road near The Mint nightclub when there were struck by a car driving east. Neither the driver nor the pedestrians were impaired by alcohol at the time of the crash, but the women were not crossing the street at a marked crosswalk. Both suffered from broken bones, but are expected to make full recoveries.
This accident is one of several pedestrian and vehicle accidents that have occurred in downtown Scottsdale in recent years as the area continues to attract nightclubs, bars, and restaurants along with large crowds. Because of the prevalence of pedestrians crossing the road midblock on E. Camelback Road, the city has considered installing traffic signals that could help people navigate across the road safely.
The HAWK: A Crosswalk Designed With Safety in Mind
The HAWK, or High Intensity Activated Crosswalk, was first used in Tucson in the 1990s, and has since swept the nation as it continues to lower pedestrian/vehicle accidents—up to 69%, according to the Federal Highway Administration.
You may have already seen HAWKs around the Valley, and you may soon see many more. Appearing midblock, the crosswalks are activated by pedestrians waiting to cross. The lights above the crosswalk will turn yellow, then a steady red as the pedestrian crosses the road. The lights will flash red when it is okay to proceed if the crosswalk is empty, and will go dark after the road is clear.
While these systems are far from perfect, and still require attentive drivers and pedestrians in order to be fully effective, they may be a good answer for busy areas like downtown Scottsdale and around school zones where heavy foot traffic could benefit from added safety.
Have You Been Injured in a Pedestrian Accident?
If you have been injured by a negligent or distracted driver while walking in the Valley, you deserve compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering. For a free, no-obligation consultation with our Phoenix personal injury attorneys, contact Curry, Pearson & Wooten today by filling out our easy online contact form.