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BARTOW, Fla. – Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) and members of the Florida Department of Transportation Community Traffic Safety Team will be on hand Wednesday, November 30, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on US Highway 92 (614 Memorial Blvd.) in Lakeland, Fla., citing motorists for violating command signals at the pedestrian hybrid beacons (crosswalks) also known as PHBs while educating them and pedestrians on best safety practices.

“The recent data collected by FDOT shows that some pedestrians are not using the equipment (PHBs) in this area and drivers are not stopping when they should,” said Keith Robbins, FDOT District Safety Administrator. “This is truly alarming, especially since this stretch of the boulevard is utilized by approximately 300 pedestrians daily.”

The pedestrian hybrid beacons were installed in 2020 and are located between Kettles, Vermont, Stella and Morgan Avenues. The intent is to help pedestrians and bicyclists safely cross busy, multi-lane roadways and non-signalized intersections. Statistics show that many traffic related deaths involve people walking at night and at non-intersection locations.

PHBs are proven and considered safe mechanisms to reduce crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists because the ‘right-of-way’ is clearly identifiable, and it provides stop control. The success of the PHBs is dependent on both drivers and pedestrians being alert and aware of their surroundings.

Subject matter experts from FDOT and FHP will be available for interviews.  

Instructions on how to use PHBs:

The beacon head consists of two red lenses above the single yellow lens. All of these lenses remain “dark” until a pedestrian, desiring to cross the street, pushes the call button to activate the beacon. That action initiates a yellow to red lighting sequence consisting of flashing and steady lights that directs motorists to slow down and then come to a stop. This provides the right-of-way to the pedestrian, allowing them to safely cross the roadway. The PHB system then goes dark again, and motorists are able to proceed.

The identification of crash prone areas, solutions like PHBs, and follow up studies to ensure that these strategies are working are part of FDOT’s Target Zero initiative to reduce the number of transportation-related serious injuries and deaths across Florida to ZERO.