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City of West Columbia continues to educate public about HAWK traffic light on Sunset Boulevard

West Columbia, SC 05/31/2022 - A HAWK traffic signal was installed some time ago on Sunset Boulevard in front of the Capitol Square Shopping Center and the poultry processing plant at 420 Sunset Boulevard in the city of West Columbia. According to spokesperson for the city, drivers and pedestrians continue to report they are unsure of how to proceed when the lights are flashing red. According to the city, drivers should treat the flashing signal as a stop sign and proceed when the roadway is clear of pedestrian traffic. When the light is solid red, treat it as a stoplight. Pedestrians should only cross with caution, if the lights are flashing red and vehicles are stopped, or if the lights are solid red, and all vehicles are stopped.

A HAWK signal is a traffic control device used to stop road traffic and allow pedestrians to cross safely. The signal creates a point on Sunset Boulevard where traffic will be stopped intermittently. The signal is used as follows:


  • Flashing Yellow Light: Use caution, keep driving

  • Solid Yellow Light: Use caution, be prepared to stop

  • Solid Red Light: Stop

  • Flashing Red Light: Stop and proceed when clear (Treat as a stop sign)

  • Dark until Activated: Proceed as normal


The on-demand signal known as a High-Intensity Activated Crosswalk Beacon, or HAWK, allows pedestrians to safely cross the busy roadway between Capitol Square Shopping Center and the House of Raeford poultry processing plant. The HAWK is a traffic control device initiated by pedestrians that intermittently halts road traffic and allows people to safely cross at a specific stopping point. Motorists first will see the flashing yellow light as a warning to slow down and prepare to stop. When motorists see the solid red light, they must stop until all pedestrians safely cross the road, the solid red light then turns into a blinking red light. At this time, the blinking red light should be treated as a stop sign and motorists can proceed if the roadway is clear. The light will then turn off and traffic can proceed as usual.


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