HAWK Pedestrian Beacon Information

Phoenix uses the High Intensity Activated CrossWalK (HAWK) beacon signal as a tool to help make it easier and safer for people to cross busy streets without impeding traffic. HAWK signals can be installed on streets with regular traffic signals as part of the city’s coordinated signal system. Phoenix has been installing HAWK signals since 2007 after they were approved by the Federal Highway Administration.

How the HAWK Signal Works


  • The HAWK looks a bit like the flashing red lights at railway crossings; it consists of a RED-YELLOW-RED signal format for motorists.
  • Unlike traffic signals, the HAWK only operates when a pedestrian pushes a button, allowing vehicles free to move when no one is crossing the street.
  • Motorists should respond to yellow and solid red lights in the same manner as any other traffic signal. After stopping for the red light, motorists may proceed through the crossing area during the flashing red light interval only when safe to do so without risk to pedestrians.


  • For the pedestrian the signal works similarly to other push-button-activated traffic signals in the city.
  • The lights on the HAWK signal are activated when a pedestrian pushes the button at either end of the crossing.

Links to a brochure and frequently asked questions about the HAWK are provided below:

 To speak with a Street Transportation staff member, please call 602-262-4659.