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Conference Proceeding

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wrong-way-driving, RRFB, safety, freeway-off-ramps

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Wrong-way crashes are a major cause for safety concern along freeways and limited access facilities. This study investigated three different aspects of the use of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFBs): 1) different settings of red RRFBs and their perceived effectiveness on reducing wrong-way driving based on a public opinion survey, 2) the effect of active red RRFBs on the behavior of drivers traveling on adjacent roadways via a before-and-after study, and 3) the effectiveness of red RRFBs on alleviating wrong-way driving on freeway off-ramps by analyzing the percentage of vehicles turning back after observing the red RRFB activation. Based on the public opinion survey results, the most informative warning red RRFB combination was determined and implemented in this study. The evaluation of the impact of red RRFB implementation (at six I-275 off-ramps in Tampa, FL, USA) on driving behaviors along adjacent arterials indicated that the implementation of red RRFBs did not adversely impact driving behaviors on adjacent arterials. To determine the effectiveness of red flashing beacons and RRFBs on alleviating wrong-way driving on freeway off-ramps, video recordings of red flashing beacons and RRFBs mounted on wrong-way signs were analyzed. Red RRFBs were deemed to be a more effective countermeasure to deter wrong-way driving than red flashing beacons. Six-months of video data were collected for red flashing beacons mounted on wrong-way signs, and video data collection for red RRFBs mounted on wrong-way signs is currently underway. For red flashing beacons, a high percentage of wrong-way drivers in this study made a U-turn and went back in the correct traffic flow direction upon realizing they were traveling in the wrong direction. It is expected that red RRFBs will be more effective on alleviating wrong-way driving due to their capabilities to inform drivers of wrong-way driving than those from red flashing beacons. The video data analysis for red RRFBs will be presented in a separate paper.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Transportation Research Procedia, v. 22, p. 570-579