New beacon on US 17-92 in Sanford meant to help pedestrians

Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon flashes lights to alert drivers

SANFORD, Fla. – The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is marking the completion of a new traffic feature designed to increase pedestrian safety.

A Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon (PHB) was installed on U.S. 17-92 between Airport Boulevard and Americana Boulevard.

The stretch of the road is roughly a quarter-mile from the closest intersection and officials said there’s typically a high volume of people walking and riding bicycles.

“It’s very much needed,” FDOT public information director Cindi Lane said. “We’re trying to add these more and more to our projects and we’re very excited to put this one here.”

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When a pedestrian activates the beacon, a light will flash yellow to alert drivers. There is then a solid yellow light before two solid red lights illuminate to inform drivers to stop.

Hayden Miller lives close to where the PHB was installed.

“It’s 17-92 for crying out loud. You’ve got 10,000 cars passing here every day,” Hayden Miller said.  “It’s a pain in the butt to try and cross this street.”

Miller said he has first-hand experience with the dangers of crossing the busy road.

“I’ve been hit by a car here before, so crossing from Walmart here to the Budget Inn and, basically, many times I’ve watched people almost get here by cars too,” Miller said.

According to FDOT, there have been nearly 800 traffic fatalities in Florida over the last year, and roughly 200 involved pedestrians.

While officials acknowledge there will likely be a learning curve for drivers and pedestrians, the hope is the PHB will increase awareness and safety.

“Hopefully with this thing, people will abide by the rules and listen to the traffic beacon and stop for the pedestrians,” Miller said.

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About the Author:

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.