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Officials: New piece of equipment will help make Stamford intersections safer

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STAMFORD -

The Governors Highway Safety Association says nearly 6,000 pedestrians across the country were killed in traffic last year, the highest total in more than two decades, and officials in Stamford are hoping the installation of a new piece of equipment will make it safer for people to cross the street.

The Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon is now at the corner of Sellack and Durant streets.

Pedestrians press the button, and the lights start flashing.

The lights let oncoming drivers know pedestrians want to cross and continue to flash while they make their way through the intersection.

The device is something that will hopefully help in an area with high traffic volume.

Mayor David Martin says distracted driving and distracted walking have increased in the last few years, making pedestrian crashes more common.

Martin says the beacons are a cheaper alternative to traditional traffic signals and have been shown to be more effective than standard signing and pavement markings.

A pedestrian was fatally struck by a car this past summer while crossing the street on High Ridge Road, near Olga Drive.

Pepperidge Road near Newfield Elementary has also seen its fair share of crashes.

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