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New "HAWK" traffic system unveiled in Tonawanda

Posted at 10:39 AM, Jun 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-25 10:39:16-04

Sheridan Drive has a new traffic light, but it's unlike anything you've probably ever seen. It's known as the "high-intensity activated crosswalk", or HAWK, beacon.

"It might sound confusing when you describe it," Elizabeth Carey from AAA said. "I think when motorists start to see it in action they'll get the hang of it pretty quick."

Friday, crews turned on the system we first told you about earlier this month. The new light caused confusion for several drivers, but pedestrians had nothing but good things to say.

"Love the lights...I love having that there," Jackie Chuchanis, Tonawanda resident said.

"I don't really have to worry about traffic either way,"Tonawanda resident David Szafranski agreed. "I mean I look left and right you never know who might be coming but overall I feel a lot more comfortable."

AAA and the Department of Transportation say the system will take some getting used to, especially for drivers, but statistically, the system is much safer.

This is the first system installed in the state.