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City of West Columbia explains crossing signals operations at poultry plant on Sunset Blvd.

West Columbia, SC (05/11/2021) – The City of West Columbia has installed signs to help drivers know what to do at the HAWK traffic signal, on Sunset Boulevard, at Capitol Square. This is the signal that provides an additional safety factor for pedestrians that are crossing from that parking and office area at Capital Square to the poultry processing plant on the opposite side of Sunset safely.


Some drivers have reported they are unsure of how to proceed when the lights are flashing red. Drivers should treat the flashing signal as a stop sign and proceed when the roadway is clear of pedestrian traffic. See the attached video for a demonstration.

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 safely. 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.


When activated by a pedestrian, 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 to a blinking red light. At this time, the 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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