RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Reno resident Mark Verloop is used to walking just about everywhere, since he doesn't have a car. So when the Nevada Department of Transportation installed four pedestrian-activated flashing lights on Kietzke Lane just south of Mill Street last year, he noticed. He says he always uses the devices at the crosswalks and now feels a lot safer when walking across Kietzke Lane.
"It brings attention to the road and who's using it," says Verloop about the signs.
What makes these flashing signs stand out from the older types is they feature an overhead sign that hangs over the street that also flashes. The lights themselves are also different.
"They work great because of the speed of the flash and the LED lights are so bright that they really get the drivers' attention," says Lori Campbell, a Traffic Safety Engineer at NDOT. She says in addition to these flashing signs NDOT installed on Kietzke, crews put up two at crosswalks on North Virginia Street last year near the Bonanza Casino. NDOT has plans to put in several more throughout the region over the next year, including one at Kietzke Lane and Prosperity Street and a couple in Carson City.
"We are finding out these are getting a lot better driver compliance," says Campbell. "And it's safer for the pedestrians. Not just in our state, but nationwide, these are being used everywhere."
And while the goal is to increase pedestrian safety, some say there's only so much safety enhancements can do to prevent crashes.
"It comes down to the driver overall," says Aidan Duff, a Reno resident. "If the driver is texting, there's not going to be a good chance they're seeing everything."