DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A first of its kind traffic signal is going into service in an effort to improve pedestrian safety ahead of the school year.
The Florida Department of Transportation recently installed a pedestrian hybrid beacon across International Speedway Boulevard near Highland Avenue.
Officials said the beacon was needed because of the high volume of pedestrian and vehicle traffic near the entrances of Mainland High School and Daytona State College.
On Thursday, FDOT held a safety outreach event to inform pedestrians and drivers about the changes.
The beacon differs from a traditional traffic signal by staying dark until activated.
When a pedestrian presses the push-to-walk button, a flashing yellow light will activate, which warns drivers to slow down.
The yellow light then turns solid before two solid red lights appear, which signals drivers to stop.
Pedestrians are then given the “walk” signal, which is followed by a flashing countdown that shows how much time is left to cross.
During the countdown, drivers see flashing red lights, which indicate vehicles are able to proceed, but only after the crosswalk is clear.
The beacon then goes dark after the crossing cycle is complete.
According to FDOT, a 2010 study by the Federal Highway Administration showed pedestrian hybrid beacons can reduce crashes involving pedestrians by 69 percent and total crashes by 29 percent.
Officials said additional beacons are planned for construction throughout Central Florida, including three along South Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando and one on U.S. Hwy 17-92 near Airport Boulevard in Sanford.