OREM — A year ago, Utah Valley University student Clint Applegate was hit by a car, putting in a coma for weeks.
He is still recovering from several injuries to his face, leg and shoulder, but on Monday he was able to help turn on a brand new crosswalk signal near the area where the accident happened.
The crosswalks have what are known as HAWKS, High-Intensity Activated Crosswalk Signals. The yellow and red lights are designed to stop traffic for pedestrians and then get the flow of vehicles back up to speed.
The signal starts with a flashing yellow light, followed by a solid yellow light warning drivers they'll need to stop. A solid red light halts traffic, then a flashing red light lets drivers proceed if the way is clear.
The city and UVU teamed up to install the new safety equipment at four crosswalks around the campus.
Applegate, who flipped the switch to activate the crossing, hopes drivers will pay more attention and help protect pedestrians of all ages.
"Slowdown, keep your eyes open and watch. Something could happen in a split second, you won't even know what, you won't even know when, but it will happen so fast and it could change your life forever," he said.
While classes are still a week away at UVU, most local elementary and junior high and high schools are now under way. Police throughout the state are cautioning drivers to slow down and watch closely for children, especially near school zones.