As seen in the IMSA Journal, July/August 2016 Edition
In our quest to make roads safer for motorists and pedestrians, LED-enhanced signs are being used to draw attention and deliver messages at all times. Certain areas of the country may be prone to snow, floods and other types of inclement weather. There may be a dangerous curve, a blind pedestrian crossing, a low overhead spot or a high-wind area. How can you reduce the potential threat these conditions pose? Look no further than a wireless traffic control system with LED-enhanced signs.
Signs with LED enhancements must comply with Section 2A.07 Retroreflectivity and Illumination in the MUTCD, which provides information on the signage regulation. LED-enhanced devices innovate and redefine safety standards.
Here are a few of the most popular:
LED-Enhanced Stop Signs
Mid-block Crossings and Roundabouts
At times, mid-block crossings and roundabouts are not visible or well-marked. Alternately, there may be improper parking restrictions in a tourist area. A 2011 Vermont study showed a 23 percent increase in yield-to-pedestrian data after an LED-enhanced sign was installed. The total yield rate was 80 percent.
Increase visibility by properly installing the crossing and adding a highly conspicuous pedestrian sign. It can be actuated by push button, motion or duration. Further distinguish the crossing by adding pavement lighting to enhance visibility.
Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon
Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon (RRFB) LED Crosswalk Warning Systems are user-actuated LED enhanced signs that draw attention when a pedestrian is about to enter the crosswalk. RRFBs are under interim approval by FHWA.
Research data by the City of St. Petersburg, FL shows very high rates of motorists yielding to pedestrians, mostly in the high 80 percent range, in comparison to far lower rates (15 to 20 percent) for standard beacons.
Do Not Enter and Wrong Way
Do Not Enter and Wrong Way LED-enhanced signs alert drivers when they are traveling in the wrong direction so they may rectify that potentially fatal mistake. If drivers continue moving the wrong way, radar detection and a snapshot can be sent to the local agency or overhead message boards to alert others about the wrong way vehicle.
Wrong way driving factored into 3.1 percent of all fatal crashes in the U.S., according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). San Antonio saw a 30 percent reduction after installing Wrong Way and Do Not Enter warning systems.
Curve Warning Systems
Curve Warning Systems send a wireless communication and synchronize LED signs dynamically to warn and guide motorists through a dangerous curve. This signal directs the chevrons to flash sequentially, delivering a "pull-through" effect. Curve systems reduce head-on and cross-median crashes and help prevent and mitigate roadway departure collisions.
If you have an area with traffic issues and you can't find a way to fix it, try an LED-enhanced solution. Just be sure to meet all MUTCD requirements.