Evaluation of Work Zone Speed Limit Signs with Strobe LightsAuthor/Presenter: Benekohal, Rahim F.; Shu, Jie
The construction zone speed limit sign used in Illinois consists of a regulatory 45 mph speed limit sign augmented with two small strobe lights and two orange colored plates. When the lights are flashing the speed limit is 45 mph. This report contains the findings from evaluation of the effectiveness of the flashing lights in reducing speeds in a rural interstate construction zone. The speed reduction effects on cars and trucks were determined at two locations within the work zone. The results indicated that the average speed of cars was reduced by 1.9-7.1 mph and that of trucks by 1.3-6.0 mph when the strobe lights were flashing. In general, the speed reduction effects were more pronounced on the cars than on the trucks, and at a location past the work space than before it. The reductions at the location past the work space were 2-3 times more than the reductions at the location before the work space. Cars reduced their speeds, on the average, by 1.9-4.9 mph before and by 5.9-7.1 mph after the work space. Similarly, the speed reduction for trucks was 1.3-2.9 mph before and 3.3-6.0 after the work space. In general, the percentages of vehicles with excessive speeds in the work zone decreased when the lights were flashing.