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THV Working for You: Explaining the new NLRHS crosswalk | News

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THV Working for You: Explaining the new NLRHS crosswalk

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - A new crosswalk in North Little Rock is drawing more community concern.

THV11 first reported on the story in August when parents were worried about safety, now they're worried about how it works.

It's called the H.A.W.K. system and stands for high intensity activated crosswalk. It gives drivers and walkers 10 different signals in the matter of a minute and they're wondering if it was the right decision.

"Don't walk," said crossing guard Nadine Jennings to students at the crosswalk on Main Street. "Alright come on let's go," she continued signaling across the road.

People like Nadine are the first people our kids encounter each day. Giving safety when they arrive at school and tone when they leave.

Jennings has been doing it for 17 years, but now she's got an extra buddy in the H.A.W.K. system helping her and her kids along.

"At very first it was complicated with the stop signs," she explained. "But now that they've got the lights working wonderfully it's excellent."

But while some find the system beneficial other are simply confused as to how it works, mainly drivers commenting on North Little Rock's Facebook Page.

With 10 different signal variations it's understandable why some might find the HAWK system confusing, but it comes down to two very simple rules just like driving: yellow means caution and red means stop.

"When we went with this we saw the benefits to using the old yellow and red lights that everyone is familiar with," said Steve Canady, safety coordinator for the district. "I think eventually it will work."

When a student presses the button it gives drivers a flashing yellow light- meaning be prepared to stop- then it changes solid, meaning a red is coming in three seconds- same as a street light. Then a solid red gives students 30 seconds to cross, before it changes to flashing red- meaning treat the intersection as a stop sign.

Many people have suggested a bridge. The district says studies show students choose to ignore bridges. A recent study by the US department of traffic shows HAWK system decrease collisions by 69 percent.