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Mid-America Transportation Center

Evaluation of Blue Confirmation Lights on Red Light Running at Signalized Intersections

Final Report
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Researchers

  • Principal Investigator: Steven Schrock (schrock@ku.edu (785) 864-3418)
  • Project Status
    Complete
    About this Project
    Brief Project Description & Background
    Currently, a large body of research exists that has investigated signalized intersection safety, automated enforcement, and characteristics of red light runners. However, identified gaps in the literature show that there are limited resources for examining the utilization and evaluation of low-cost intersection countermeasures over automated enforcement systems. No research was found regarding red light running violation mitigation and factors affecting drivers to run red lights at freeway on and off ramps. This research study will specifically be aimed to fill these identified gaps by implementing the confirmation light system at Kansas signalized intersections that are located at on and off ramps to freeways where local law enforcement has indicated enforcement is difficult. Since this project has a limited time frame, a before and after violation study will be used as a surrogate to a traditional before and after crash study.
    Research Objective
    This research study will specifically aim to fill identified research gaps by implementing the confirmation light system at Kansas signalized intersections that are located at on and off ramps to freeways where local law enforcement has indicated enforcement is difficult.
    Potential Benefits
    It is expected that this project will be of interest to Kansas communities, the Kansas Department of Transportation, and other state and federal government agencies. It is also expected that this project will be highly publicized and visible within the communities selected for intersection evaluation, and that an increase in RLR violation compliance will occur as a result of this project. The researchers also expect that an excellent collaborative effort by the research team and the selected communities will result from this project.
    Abstract
    Red light running (RLR) crashes are a serious safety concern at signalized intersections. In 2009, it was reported that 676 fatalities (FHWA, 2011) and 130,000 injuries were due to red light running crashes in the United States (IIHS, 2011). The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported that in 2007, over half of all red light running fatalities were either 1) passengers of the violating vehicle, 2) both passengers and the driver of the vehicle that was collided into, or 3) pedestrians within the intersection (IIHS, 2007). Many communities have installed automated enforcement as a way to enforce red light violations at high-crash intersections. In 2011, it was estimated that over 538 communities had installed automated enforcement (IIHS, 2011). However, automated enforcement may not be practical for an intersection, or cannot be implemented due to state legislation. Many communities have implemented low-cost countermeasures at intersections including intersection confirmation lights to alert the driver of the changing light and/or to aid law enforcement officials in capturing violators.
    Project Amount
    $ $60,000