A new kind of traffic signal designed to significantly reduce pedestrian and other collisions was unveiled Tuesday at a Valley Glen area intersection where a Los Angeles Department of Transportation crossing guard was fatally injured last month.
The city’s second High-intensity Activated Crosswalk, or HAWK Beacon, was installed at Vanowen Street and Sunnyslope Avenue.
A HAWK Beacon has a three-light yellow and red signal that commands vehicles to come to a complete stop before giving pedestrians a countdown timer, which is intended to make streets with higher speeds and longer crossing distances safer.
“I applaud the Department of Transportation for acting swiftly to install only the second hybrid activated walk signal in the city,” said Councilman Paul Krekorian, who represents the area. “With International Walk to School Day occurring tomorrow, the timing could not be better.”
City officials will dedicate local Walk to School Day efforts that take place Wednesday to crossing guard Delia Huerta, who had worked with LADOT for 13 years. The 57-year-old Sun Valley resident was hit by a vehicle on Sept. 16 and died of her injuries about 10 hours afterward.
A teenage girl was also struck, but was not seriously hurt.
“Two weeks ago, LADOT crossing guard Delia Huerta sacrificed her life protecting a student,” LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds said. “We honor her memory and do everything we can to make sure no other family suffers the same loss.”
According to LADOT, more than 370 of its crossing guards assist more than180,000 students and their families get to schools.
Wednesday’s Walk to School Day is an annual citywide Safe Routes to School event that celebrates the fun of walking and reinforces pedestrian safety.
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