SAFETY FEATURES OF STOP SIGNS AT RAIL-HIGHWAY GRADE CROSSINGS

The study objectives of this research project were to determine the advantages and disadvantages of selective use of highway stop signs as safety improvements at rail-highway grade crossings and to develop guidelines for their appropriate use or non-use. The study elements included a literature review, inventory and accident analysis, and field studies. Literature and inventory investigations were performed to determine current uses of stop signs. Accident analyses were performed to compare accidents for crossings with crossbucks only to accidents for crossings with crossbucks and standard highway stop signs. Field studies were performed to compare driver behaviors for crossbuck-only crossings to driver behaviors for similar crossings having a standard highway stop sign in addition to the crossbuck. Driver behaviors included speed profiles, looking behavior, and observance of stop signs. The study results indicate that stop signs are used more frequently in urban areas and crossings having stop signs tend to have higher train volumes. Accident analysis results indicate that rates for stop sign crossings are lower than rates for crossbuck-only crossings for higher vehicle-train exposure values. Field studies show that stop signs, when properly used, result in improved driver behaviors adequate for the detection and avoidance of trains. The study conclusions suggest that stop signs should be applied selectively only at hazardous passive grade crossings and should not be used indiscriminately at all passive grade crossings. Requirements for effective use of stop signs at grade crossings are listed in the report. /FHWA/

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This report is in two volumes. Volume 1 is the Executive Summary, FHWA-RD-78-40. Volume 2 is the Technical Report, FHWA-RD-78-41.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Biotechnology, Incorporated

    3027 Rosemary Lane
    Falls Church, VA  United States  22042

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Sanders, J H
    • McGee, H W
    • Yoo, C S
  • Publication Date: 1978-4

Media Info

  • Pagination: 19 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00193730
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Federal Highway Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-RD-78- 40 Final Rpt.
  • Contract Numbers: DOT-FH-11-9192
  • Files: NTIS, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Aug 15 1979 12:00AM