ELMIRA, N.Y. – (WETM) Drivers should be used to seeing traditional crosswalks but what about the Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon (RRFB)? One can found on Clemens Center Parkway near the corner of East Gray Street.

While this is something that the City of Elmira hasn’t announced, as your local news leader, we ought to provide you with information you may not know. With the push of a button, drivers are signaled by flashing lights to slow down and stop at approaching pedestrian crosswalks or school crossings allowing pedestrians to pass. Over the past week, there have been two pedestrian-related crashes in Elmira which prove that technology like this is important.

“In my classes when we talk about these things, I see the looks on people’s faces. They have never known about this, said Fran Whitford, an instructor for a defensive driving course with AARP.

“A lot of new changes are occurring that people need to know about and I think that safety is the most important thing.”

The U.S. Department of Transportation reports 47% of pedestrian crashes are prevented using RRFB. The beacons are typically used at multilane crossings where the speed is less than 40 miles per hour.

“I’ve seen many times when we come to the Clemens Center people trying to cross this road. Sometimes vehicles stop sometimes they don’t. Now by law, you must!”

New York State law requires drivers to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk, no matter if they aren’t in your lane. If they’re obeying proper signaling you must come to a complete stop and wait for them to clear the walk.