Useful links to Government Bodies and Funding opportunities
- Safe Road Maps Envisioning Safer Roads
- FHWA Safety
- US Speed Limits
- Road Safety Transport Canada
- Federal Highway Administration
- Local technical Assistance Programs
- ATSSA American Traffic Safety Services Association
- National Association of County Engineers
- Institution of Transportation Engineers
- Traffic Calming Library
- Grant Writing A Beginner's Guide To Finding And Winning Grants
- GHSA State Highway Safety Association
- CDFA / Federal Domestic Assistance Catalog
- Safer Routes to School
- Government Grants
CITY OF BRANTFORD
The first VATCS School case study data has been published by the City of Brantford, ON. Two dual diagram VATCS were installed on Shellard Avenue in August 2007 as a progressive approach by the City to address speeding concerns in the 50Kmh School Zone.
The VATCS chosen by the City Traffic engineering team offered the dual functional posted speed limit and school warning messages allowing radar targeted drivers to be educated of their excessive speed above the limit when required and also providing a timely automated reminder for all drivers to monitor their speed during peak hours of school operation by displaying the school hazard warning diagram during these times. The two warning message formats can be seen pictured in operation below.
The before and after readings provided up to a 7% reduction in the 85 percentile and an increase in the number of vehicles driving below the 50Kmh posted speed limit by up to 390 per day, on a school route with an average daily volume of 3000 vehicles in each direction.
Brantford is one of three School Zone projects which went live in the province during 2007, the majority of the VATCS are solar powered and automated to operate in conjunction with the school calendar and operating hours. Dual posted speed limit versions of the school zone VATCS have also been deployed at various locations in the USA, where the lower speed limit is being re-enforced at peak school operating hours.
Two versions of Dual Diagram School Zone VATCS are available from Unipart Dorman:
Dual Speed Limit School Zone VATCS
This radar vehicle activated sign can display 2 posted speed limits (R2-1 US/ RB-1 CAN) warnings to allow a lower speed limit to be re-enforced at peak school hours. The signs are vehicle activated and are triggered by the detection of an approaching vehicle exceeding the pre-selected threshold speed. The switch to displaying the lower speed limit warning is automated through the sign controller via a school calendar which is wirelessly uploaded to the sign.
Dual Speed Limit and School Crossing School Zone VATCS
This radar vehicle activated sign can display a posted speed limit (R2-1 US/ RB-1 CAN) warning during normal operating hours and reinforce the school hazard by displaying a School Crossing (S1-1 US/ WC-1 CAN) diagram during peak hours. The signs are vehicle activated and are triggered by the detection of an approaching vehicle exceeding the pre-selected threshold speed.
The switch to displaying the School Hazard diagram warning is automated through the sign controller via a school calendar which is wirelessly uploaded to the sign.
All warning diagrams are accompanied by a SLOW DOWN message and flashing beacons.
CITY OF WOODSTOCK
The very first installation of VATCS to go live in North America in Aug. 2006.
Four single diagram posted speed limit VATCS were installed around the city at strategic locations where historic data had proven excessive speed was a concern.
The City chief traffic engineer David Creery used the standard VATCS feature Bluetooth™ wireless based data logging speed analysis software to conduct before and after speed studies. The before speed studies were conducted with the VATCS signs in covert mode and matched the historical pneumatic tube data very well.
The active data extracted from the VATCS taken 3 months post install has shown a significant speed reduction of the average speed by up to 5mph. The critical factor which DV and the client were waiting on was whether this performance could continue longer term. The evidence was positive with all site locations maintaining the same effect some 6 and now 12 months later, further supporting the independent UK TRL548 report and confirming that the solution is translating with similar effectiveness in North America.
The unique fact that allows VATCS to stand apart from the competition in North America is the result of the independent large scale field study on the technology conducted by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) on behalf of the United Kingdom Highways Agency , published in 2002.
The TRL548 study was conducted on 60 VATCS signs over a 5 year period and the impressive long term results lead to the technology being incorporated into the UK MUTCD and mass deployed on both rural and residential highways. For more information please download the full TRL548 report below.
The VATCS approach has all but phased out the original Speed Feedback Display signs which were viewed as providing a controversial message and due to the VATCS solutions longevity it is currently also being utilized as an alternative to speed humps and combined with other more educational physical traffic calming measures.
Unipart Dorman do still offer the SFD device in their current portfolio due to the proven short term effectiveness of the product but strongly recommend that clients undertaking a permanent traffic calming installation do consider the deployment of VATCS in the first instance.
The SFD technology is best deployed on a rotation basis or operated via an automated timetable to coincide with peak times of hazard concern as per School Zone operation.
TRIAL REPORT - Sequeuential Flashing Cone Lamps
Every State and Provincial DOT aim is to provide Safe, Reliable Journeys and Informed Drivers. Maintaining a high quality road network and ensuring safety on that network is of paramount importance. Reducing congestion and improving reliability of the network inevitably involves road maintenance and improvement projects.
This work often requires Work Zones to be formed and safety for workers improving the network for all users is key. The cones/barricades at the beginning of a work zone referred to as the taper are the first line of defence for the construction worker and are frequently struck by vehicles that have failed to see them or have not exited the closed lane in sufficient time.
Statistical evidence shows that this occurrence of taper collision accounts for over 50% of near miss incidents in the workzone and can lead to accidents which not only affect the construction workers , but can injure members of the public and cause highway congestion and secondary incidents.
The SynchroGUIDE lamp series was designed to be a simply deployed tool which would not only dynamically enhance the visibility of the work zone entrance as static lamps but at the same time improve driver lane discipline by providing a directional guide.
The SynchroGUIDE product combines the latest in LED lamp and lens technology with synchronisation wireless communications technology to enable cone taper deployment lengths of up to 250 synchronised lamps.
The TRL field study conducted during 2002 on the analysis of the safety benefit of deploying sequential SynchroGUIDE lamps as oppose to static barricade lamps involved alternating the deployment of both types of lamp at the same location over the same nighttime periods of between 22:00 to 0300 hrs over a 2 week period.
Loops were stationed every 100 Metres in the closed lane from the entrance to the road work up to 1100m, the graph opposite shows the traffic counts recorded at every 100 metre interval from the zone entrance. The yellow bar is for static lamp and the green bar is for the Sequential SynchroGUIDE lamp.
The results were impressive and it was concluded that the deployment of the sequential lamp had a significant improvement on driver lane discipline in advance of the work zone.
The effectiveness of the sequential lamps is seen consistently from a point 500M from the taper, but also has an effect in half the cases at 600M from the taper.
The Sequential SynchroGUIDE lamps are now specified as part of Chapter 8 of the UK DOT Traffic Signs Manual and are playing a significant role towards meeting road safety targets, visioned for 2010 in the United Kingdom.
Dorman have supplied over 50,000 units to date.
A full copy of the report is available by contacting our offices.