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New Safety Light Designed To Keep Pedestrians Safe

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The old "Walk, Don't Walk" crosswalk signs could soon be a thing of the past.

The area around N.C. State University is a testing ground for a new type of pedestrian safety light.

Officially, the new devices are called Countdown Pedestrian Signal Heads. People using them to cross campus streets call them a good idea.

"I like them a lot. The ones before, you couldn't see them because the sun would shine on them," said pedestrian Brittany Hester. "You couldn't see them so you could walk or not, so these are a lot better."

The red hand changing to a white pedestrian tells people to walk. Beeps help the visually impaired know when to go. A countdown also starts, telling pedestrians how many seconds they have to clear the street.

"It's definitely helpful. You're just trying to rush across the street, kind of playing Frogger, really trying to avoid the cars, so I think it's really helpful," said pedestrian Tres Smith.

"The one at Avent Ferry Road, when you press the button, it doesn't always give you the go-ahead to walk, so sometimes you still have to cross with the hand up just because you know the traffic how it works with the lights. Otherwise, they work OK, I guess," said pedestrian Chris Gibson.

The DOT plans to study the pedestrian lights for several months. Chapel Hill also has a similar system that is being tested.