FHWA Announces New RRFB Interim Approval

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced a new Interim Approval for the optional use of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (IA- 21) at uncontrolled marked crosswalks on March 20, 2018. Read the official memo here.

As a result of recent circumstances RRFB patent rights are now public, allowing any manufacturer to produce RRFBs. As always, TAPCO can supply RRFBs to any agency without limitation.

What does this mean?

Agencies that install new RRFBs can rest assure that patent claims caused by the previous RRFB rescission will not arise again. If you have pending projects that received earlier approval under Interim Approval IA-11 you should be able to move forward with previously planned RRFB installations. As always, we recommend discussing your individual RRFB projects with your local FHWA office.

Do approvals for new RRFB installations need to be requested?

Yes. For RRFB installations that were not in the planning or procurement process prior to December 21, 2017 the FHWA now requires agencies to request new RRFB approval.

We have created 4 Simple Steps To Request RRFB on our Safe Travels® Blog to help you obtain IA-21 approval for your community. If you already have IA-21 approval and want to begin the process of ordering your RRFB system you can request a new quote.

Important Updates:

New flash pattern

All new RRFBs installed at uncontrolled marked crosswalks after March 20, 2018 will need to use the WW+S flash pattern. Previous flash patterns can remain in use until the next system maintenance cycle, but will need to be updated at that time. TAPCO can assist in updating flash patterns to existing systems. All new TAPCO RRFBs come standard with the WW+S flash pattern for simple installation.

Dimmable LEDs

The FHWA suggests RRFB LEDs automatically dim during nighttime hours to reduce excessive glare. TAPCO RRFBs come standard with an automatic signal dimming device to ensure brightness compliance.