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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The City of Springfield recently completed installation of new flashing beacon crosswalk signals at three neighborhood crosswalk locations with the goal of improving driver awareness and pedestrian safety.
Called Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs), the signals are pedestrian-activated flashing devices that can be easily seen by drivers from longer distances, providing more time for drivers to slow down and yield. According to the Federal Highway Administration RRFBs can enhance safety by reducing crashes between vehicles and pedestrians at unsignalized intersections and mid-block pedestrian crossings by increasing driver awareness of potential pedestrian conflicts.
“RRFBs are used to supplement standard pedestrian crossing warning signs,” explains Traffic Safety Professional Mandy Buettgen-Quinn. “They provide another level of warning that has been seen to be effective at grabbing driver’s attention so they know to stop. Effectiveness is also tied to public awareness so we are working on comprehensive outreach to help make our city more pedestrian friendly.”
Three sets of RRFBs are now operational at crosswalks located on Blackman Road across from Dan Kinney Park, Walnut Lawn and Broadway Avenue, and at Grant Avenue and Calhoun Street.
“These locations are all on higher speed roadways where we have received safety concerns in the past,” says Buettgen-Quinn. “We have installed regular crosswalks, but feel walkers at these locations will benefit from flashing beacon signals.”
How RRFBs work:
Walkers must press the button to activate the RRFB lights and signal to drivers their intent to cross. Pedestrians should wait until traffic stops and make eye contact with drivers before stepping into the crosswalk.
“The activation of the beacons does not give drivers a red light, but rather the lights blink to alert drivers to slow down because a person is trying to cross.” says Buettgen-Quinn. “A pedestrian will still have to wait at the edge of the street to make sure drivers are yielding as they should and then only proceed when all drivers in all lanes have stopped.”
Drivers should always be on the lookout for pedestrians when approaching mid-block crosswalks or intersections. Remember to stop for walkers trying to cross, even if RRFB lights are not flashing. Also, remember to give pedestrians plenty of space and stop at the stop bar or yield triangles marked on the roadway.
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For more information, contact Communication Coordinator Kristen Milam at 573-819-3713 or email@example.com.