Effectiveness of Strobes on Improving Violation Rates at Pedestrian Signals

The city of Somerville, Massachusetts recently tested the use of strobes in red signal lenses to evaluate their effectiveness in improving the compliance rate at pedestrian-actuated intersections. The effectiveness of the strobes was tested in order to determine if the failure to obey red indicators at pedestrian traffic signals was a result of intentional disobedience or an absence of awareness by the driver. Before and after studies of violation rates were conducted at two locations, one a mid-block pedestrian crossing and the other a signalized intersection. The violation rate was measured for a one-hour period before and after the strobe installations. Findings showed that the strobes did not produce any improvement in the violation rate under the test conditions. The inability of the strobe system to improve the compliance rate indicates that driver inattention may not be the cause of the red signal violations at pedestrian crossings. As a result of this study and in response to complaints from residents about the brightness of the strobes, the strobe system was removed from one of the test locations shortly after this study was conducted.

  • Availability:
  • Authors:
    • Lyons Jr, William F
    • Blake, Todd M
    • Munukutla, Silpa
  • Publication Date: 2005-11


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01010802
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Nov 29 2005 12:12PM