Effectiveness of Pilot Car Operations in Reducing Speeds in Long-Term Rural Highway Work ZoneAuthor/Presenter: Debnath, Ashim Kumar; Blackman, Ross Alexander; Haworth, Narelle Lorraine
Pilot cars are used in one-lane two-way work zones to guide traffic and keep their speeds within posted limits. While many studies have examined the effectiveness of measures to reduce vehicle speeds in work zones, little is known about the reductions achievable through the use of pilot cars. This paper examines the effectiveness of a pilot car in reducing travel speeds in a rural highway work zone in Queensland, Australia. Analysis of speed data covering a period of five days showed that a pilot car reduced average speeds at the treatment location, but not downstream. The proportion of vehicles speeding through the activity area was also reduced, particularly those traveling at 10 km/h or more above the posted limit. Motorists were more likely to speed during the day, under a 40 km/h limit, when traffic volumes were higher and when there were fewer vehicles in the traffic stream. Medium vehicles were less likely to speed in the presence of a pilot car than light vehicles. To maximize these benefits, it is necessary to ensure that the pilot car itself is not speeding.
Publisher: Transportation Research Board
Publication Date: 2014
Full Text URL: Link to URL
Publication Types: Books, Reports, Papers, and Research Articles
Topics: Pilot Cars; Rural Highways; Speed Control; Work Zones