The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced the termination of the Interim Approval for Optional Use of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (IA-11) on December 21, 2017.
Read official memo here.
No. Existing RRFBs may remain in use until the end of their useful life. TAPCO is a licensed user of the patent, which should calm any legal concerns with current RRFB installations.
UPDATE: January 29, 2018
The FHWA will allow agencies to complete installations that have documentation of RRFBs with procurements issued and/or construction plans underway prior to the IA-11 termination on Dec. 21, 2017. TAPCO will continue to manufacture RRFBs and provide support for customers that want to move forward with installations. However, RRFB installations after Dec. 21, 2017 that don't meet these criteria may not be considered MUTCD-compliant.
We encourage you to seek legal counsel in making decisions to install new RRFBs. TAPCO will continue to monitor RRFB rulings and inform you of any changes. The FHWA does have a FAQ regarding its ruling.
TAPCO offers MUTCD-compliant alternatives that can be as effective as RRFBs. Both BlinkerSign® and BlinkerBeacon™ Pedestrian Crosswalk Systems have the unique capability to synchronize flash patterns on each side of the pedestrian crossing and back-to-back on each pole. Best of all, our systems allow for RRFB light bars to be easily added in the future without replacing or dismantling the system.