Evaluation on the Perceived Effectiveness of Red RRFB Configurations to Reduce Wrong-Way Driving

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Conference Proceeding

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Despite providing the necessary required signage and pavement markings as per the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), wrong-way entries onto freeway and limited access facilities continue to occur and lead to wrong-way crashes, which can be severe and even fatal. Yellow rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFBs) have been proven to be effective to alert drivers to yield to pedestrians crossing streets; however, the effectiveness of red RRFBs with specific configurations installed at freeway off-ramps on reducing wrong-way driving onto freeway mainlines were unknown. This research investigated various combinations of RRFBs and wrong-way signs and their location placement to determine the RRFB combination most preferred by the motoring public for implementation and to assess their perceived effectiveness via a detailed public opinion survey. Comprehensive analyses were conducted based on 296 participants’ answers to a series of survey questions after their reviews of field videos recorded from a driver’s angle. The survey results showed that a vast majority (69.5%) of survey participants selected the combination of placing “WRONG WAY” signs on both the left and right sides of an interstate off-ramp with red RRFBs activated at the top and bottom as the method that most gets their attention and informs them of wrong-way driving. Additionally, approximately 58% of participants selected the non-dimmed flashing red RRFBs over the dimmed option. This study offers important findings essential for the future determination of using red RRFBs as an optional supplement to the existing standards in MUTCD to reduce wrong-way driving.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Bridging the East and West : Theories and Practices of Transportation in the Asia Pacific, p. 206-213