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NATIONAL NCHRP REPORT 624 COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM Selection and Application of Warning Lights on Roadway Operations Equipment
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TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD 2008 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE* OFFICERS CHAIR: Debra L. Miller, Secretary, Kansas DOT, Topeka VICE CHAIR: Adib K. Kanafani, Cahill Professor of Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Transportation Research Board MEMBERS J. Barry Barker, Executive Director, Transit Authority of River City, Louisville, KY Allen D. Biehler, Secretary, Pennsylvania DOT, Harrisburg John D. Bowe, President, Americas Region, APL Limited, Oakland, CA Larry L. Brown, Sr., Executive Director, Mississippi DOT, Jackson Deborah H. Butler, Executive Vice President, Planning, and CIO, Norfolk Southern Corporation, Norfolk, VA William A.V. Clark, Professor, Department of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles David S. Ekern, Commissioner, Virginia DOT, Richmond Nicholas J. Garber, Henry L. Kinnier Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville Jeffrey W. Hamiel, Executive Director, Metropolitan Airports Commission, Minneapolis, MN Edward A. (Ned) Helme, President, Center for Clean Air Policy, Washington, DC Will Kempton, Director, California DOT, Sacramento Susan Martinovich, Director, Nevada DOT, Carson City Michael D. Meyer, Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta Michael R. Morris, Director of Transportation, North Central Texas Council of Governments, Arlington Neil J. Pedersen, Administrator, Maryland State Highway Administration, Baltimore Pete K. Rahn, Director, Missouri DOT, Jefferson City Sandra Rosenbloom, Professor of Planning, University of Arizona, Tucson Tracy L. Rosser, Vice President, Corporate Traffic, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Bentonville, AR Rosa Clausell Rountree, Executive Director, Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority, Atlanta Henry G. (Gerry) Schwartz, Jr., Chairman (retired), Jacobs/Sverdrup Civil, Inc., St. Louis, MO C. Michael Walton, Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering, University of Texas, Austin Linda S. Watson, CEO, LYNXCentral Florida Regional Transportation Authority, Orlando Steve Williams, Chairman and CEO, Maverick Transportation, Inc., Little Rock, AR EX OFFICIO MEMBERS Thad Allen (Adm., U.S. Coast Guard), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, Washington, DC Joseph H. Boardman, Federal Railroad Administrator, U.S.DOT Rebecca M. Brewster, President and COO, American Transportation Research Institute, Smyrna, GA Paul R. Brubaker, Research and Innovative Technology Administrator, U.S.DOT George Bugliarello, Chancellor, Polytechnic University of New York, Brooklyn, and Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Engineering, Washington, DC Sean T. Connaughton, Maritime Administrator, U.S.DOT LeRoy Gishi, Chief, Division of Transportation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC Edward R. Hamberger, President and CEO, Association of American Railroads, Washington, DC John H. Hill, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT John C. Horsley, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Washington, DC Carl T. Johnson, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT J. Edward Johnson, Director, Applied Science Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, John C. Stennis Space Center, MS David Kelly, Acting Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S.DOT Thomas J. Madison, Jr., Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, U.S.DOT William W. Millar, President, American Public Transportation Association, Washington, DC James S. Simpson, Federal Transit Administrator, U.S.DOT Robert A. Sturgell, Acting Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, U.S.DOT Robert L. Van Antwerp (Lt. Gen., U.S. Army), Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, DC *Membership as of October 2008.
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NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM NCHRP REPORT 624 Selection and Application of Warning Lights on Roadway Operations Equipment Ronald B. Gibbons Suzanne E. Lee Brian Williams VIRGINIA POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE AND STATE UNIVERSITY Blacksburg, VA AND C. Cameron Miller NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY Gaithersburg, MD Subject Areas Maintenance · Safety and Human Performance Research sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2008 www.TRB.org
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NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY NCHRP REPORT 624 RESEARCH PROGRAM Systematic, well-designed research provides the most effective Project 13-02 approach to the solution of many problems facing highway ISSN 0077-5614 administrators and engineers. Often, highway problems are of local ISBN 978-0-309-11757-9 interest and can best be studied by highway departments individually Library of Congress Control Number 2008909952 or in cooperation with their state universities and others. However, the © 2008 Transportation Research Board accelerating growth of highway transportation develops increasingly complex problems of wide interest to highway authorities. These problems are best studied through a coordinated program of COPYRIGHT PERMISSION cooperative research. Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining In recognition of these needs, the highway administrators of the written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials published or copyrighted material used herein. initiated in 1962 an objective national highway research program Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this employing modern scientific techniques. This program is supported on publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, a continuing basis by funds from participating member states of the FMCSA, FTA, or Transit Development Corporation endorsement of a particular product, Association and it receives the full cooperation and support of the method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for Federal Highway Administration, United States Department of educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission Transportation. from CRP. The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies was requested by the Association to administer the research program because of the Board's recognized objectivity and understanding of NOTICE modern research practices. The Board is uniquely suited for this purpose as it maintains an extensive committee structure from which The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program conducted by the Transportation Research Board with the approval of authorities on any highway transportation subject may be drawn; it the Governing Board of the National Research Council. Such approval reflects the possesses avenues of communications and cooperation with federal, Governing Board's judgment that the program concerned is of national importance and state and local governmental agencies, universities, and industry; its appropriate with respect to both the purposes and resources of the National Research Council. relationship to the National Research Council is an insurance of The members of the technical committee selected to monitor this project and to review this objectivity; it maintains a full-time research correlation staff of report were chosen for recognized scholarly competence and with due consideration for the specialists in highway transportation matters to bring the findings of balance of disciplines appropriate to the project. The opinions and conclusions expressed research directly to those who are in a position to use them. or implied are those of the research agency that performed the research, and, while they have been accepted as appropriate by the technical committee, they are not necessarily those of The program is developed on the basis of research needs identified the Transportation Research Board, the National Research Council, the American by chief administrators of the highway and transportation departments Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, or the Federal Highway and by committees of AASHTO. Each year, specific areas of research Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation. needs to be included in the program are proposed to the National Each report is reviewed and accepted for publication by the technical committee according Research Council and the Board by the American Association of State to procedures established and monitored by the Transportation Research Board Executive Committee and the Governing Board of the National Research Council. Highway and Transportation Officials. Research projects to fulfill these needs are defined by the Board, and qualified research agencies are The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the National Research Council, the Federal Highway Administration, the American Association of State Highway selected from those that have submitted proposals. Administration and and Transportation Officials, and the individual states participating in the National surveillance of research contracts are the responsibilities of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade Research Council and the Transportation Research Board. or manufacturers' names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of this report. The needs for highway research are many, and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program can make significant contributions to the solution of highway transportation problems of mutual concern to many responsible groups. The program, however, is intended to complement rather than to substitute for or duplicate other highway research programs. Published reports of the NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from: Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet at: http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore Printed in the United States of America
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COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAMS CRP STAFF FOR NCHRP REPORT 624 Christopher W. Jenks, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Crawford F. Jencks, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs Amir N. Hanna, Senior Program Officer Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications Natalie Barnes, Editor NCHRP PROJECT 13-02 PANEL Field of Maintenance--Area of Equipment Erle Potter, Virginia DOT, Richmond, VA (Chair) John B. Arens, Vienna, VA Ralph D. Ellis, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL John C. Forman, South Dakota DOT, Pierre, SD Edward J. Hardiman, California DOT, Sacramento, CA Robert G. Lannert, Jefferson City, MO (formerly with Missouri DOT) Stephen A. Toth, New Jersey DOT, Trenton, NJ William J. Troup, US Fire Administration, Emmitsburg, MD Carl K. Andersen, FHWA Liaison Frank N. Lisle, TRB Liaison AUTHOR ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The research reported herein was performed under NCHRP Project 13-02 by the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Virginia Tech was the contractor for this study; NIST served as a subcontractor. Dr. Ronald B. Gibbons, Group Leader, Lighting and Infrastructure Technology, Center for Vehicle Infrastructure Safety, Virginia Tech, was the principal investigator. Dr. Suzanne E. Lee, also of Virginia Tech, was the co-principal investigator on this project. The other contributors to this project were Mr. Brian Williams, Mr. Michael McNulty, Mr. Gregory Fitch, and Dr. C. Cameron Miller. The work was performed under the general supervision of Dr. Gibbons and Dr. Lee. The work conducted at NIST was performed under the supervision of Dr. Miller.
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FOREWORD By Amir N. Hanna Staff Officer Transportation Research Board This report presents recommended guidelines for the selection and application of warn- ing lights on roadway operations equipment. The recommended guidelines address the physical, functional, and performance requirements of the lighting system, recognize that the lighting system on these vehicles must be designed and laid out with consideration to the planned or expected vehicle usage, and provide technical information for use in devel- oping procurement specifications for specific applications. The content of the report will be of immediate interest to maintenance professionals and others involved in specifying warn- ing lights on roadway operations equipment. Roadway operations equipment used for construction, maintenance, utility work, and other similar activities generally operate within roadway right of way. These vehicles and mobile equipment operate on all types of roadways, during day and night hours, and under all weather conditions. To improve motorist and work-crew safety, equipment must be readily seen and recognized and, therefore, warning lights are provided on the equipment to alert motorists of potentially hazardous situations. Amber warning lights have tradition- ally been used although lights of other colors are often added with the intent of helping the traveling public better see the equipment. Combinations of amber, blue, and white lights and other forms of warning lights (e.g., lighted bars, lighted "arrow sticks," strobe, LED, and alternating flashing) are used. There is a concern that this variety of lighting on roadway operations equipment has evolved without adequate consideration of the effects on the awareness and responsiveness of motorists. In addition, there are no widely accepted guide- lines for selecting warning lights on roadway operations equipment that consider the type of equipment, weather conditions, day- and night-time operation, color of vehicle, and other relevant factors. Thus, research was needed to develop guidelines to assist transporta- tion agency personnel in selecting and procuring lights that will substantially enhance motorist awareness. Under NCHRP Project 13-02, "Guidelines for Selection and Application of Warning Lights on Roadway Operations Equipment," Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Uni- versity of Blacksburg, Virginia worked with the objective of developing guidelines for selec- tion and application of warning lights to improve the conspicuity and recognizability of roadway operations equipment used for construction, maintenance, utility work, and other similar activities. To accomplish this objective, the researchers conducted a review of cur- rent practices for use of warning lights on maintenance vehicles and an investigation to eval- uate several aspects of the warning light system. This investigation included photometric characterization, screening, and performance experiments to evaluate lighting parameters that influence system performance as defined in terms of glare and vehicle detectability.
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Based on the results of this work, the research recommended guidelines for the selection and application of warning lights on roadway operations equipment, and proposed photo- metric limits for these warning lights. The recommended guidelines together with accompanying proposed photometric and technical information provide a basis for developing procurement specifications for warn- ing lights applied to roadway operations vehicles that will provide enhanced conspicuity and recognizability. Appendixes A through E contained in the research agency's final report provide detailed information on relevant literature, the experiments performed, and data analysis. These appendixes are not published herein but are available on the TRB website at www.trb.org/ news/blurb_detail.asp?id=9632. These appendixes are titled as follows: Appendix A: Literature Review Appendix B: Identification of Relevant Factors Appendix C: Photometric Characterization Experiment Appendix D: Static Screening Experiment Appendix E: Performance Experiment
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CONTENTS 1 Summary 5 Chapter 1 Introduction and Research Approach 5 Background 5 Objective 6 Report Organization 6 Literature Review 11 Identification of Relevant Factors 12 Chapter 2 Photometric Characterization Experiment 12 Experimental Method 12 Data Analysis 12 Summary of Results 14 Chapter 3 Static Screening Experiment 14 Experimental Methods 17 Summary of Results 21 Discussion 21 Preparation for Dynamic Performance Testing 22 Chapter 4 Performance Experiment 22 Experimental Methods 26 Summary of Results 30 Discussion 32 Chapter 5 Conclusions and Suggested Research 32 Conclusions 32 Considerations for Future Research 34 References 35 Attachment Proposed Guidelines for the Selection and Application of Warning Lights on Roadway Operations Equipment 40 Appendixes