Oftentimes pedestrians are confused because the flashing DON'T WALK (HAND) display appears before they finish crossing the street. Usually, there is nothing wrong with the traffic signal timing, there is just a misunderstanding of what the pedestrian signal means. The WALKING PERSON symbol or "WALK" signal really means that it is the pedestrians' turn to start crossing.
However, pedestrians should always be on the lookout for motorists who are turning right or left across their crosswalk, or who may run the red light.
The flashing orange UPRAISED HAND symbol or "DON'T WALK" signal, really means "Don't Start," and if you have stepped into the street during the WALK interval, there should be enough time to finish your crossing before the steady DON'T WALK (HAND) appears and the signal turns green for the cross traffic.
When the steady DON'T WALK (HAND) appears you should not begin crossing, and should not be in the street.