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Politics & Government

Police emphasize use of pedestrian beacons at beach crosswalks

As tourists return to Delaware beaches this summer, State Police want to remind them of the rules of the road, specifically in one beach town.

Delaware State Police joined Dewey Beach Police this week to hand out information to drivers and pedestrians about the Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB’s) on Route 1.

 

“So these are signals that are located at crosswalks throughout the state; there’s over 50 of them from New Castle County down to Sussex County and the beaches," said State Police Master Corporal Gary Fournier. "And these flashing lights alert the motorists that a pedestrian is about to cross (the road) in a marked crosswalk.” 

Fournier notes that the beacons have been in the beach towns for a few years, but following the pandemic they feel a reminder is needed - including that pedestrians must press the button to activate the light before crossing.

 

“We’re highlighting these because we’re getting a lot of out-of-state travelers that are coming down here that are not familiar with these RRFB’s," said Fournier. "And so what happens is, the pedestrian comes up to the crosswalk and presses a button, waits and looks at the traffic and makes eye contact with the driver(s) before he/she even steps out into the crosswalk,  so that the traffic stops.”

He says the beacons help with visibility, especially at nigh, flashing for about one minute to give pedestrians time to safely cross Route 1.

The Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) reports 69 pedestrian and bicycle crashes in the beach area over the past three years. 10 were fatal.