A worker was killed on a NYSDOT construction project in 1999 when a vehicle intruded into the work space, in spite of the presence of adequate temporary traffic controls. In response, agency management launched an initiative to reduce the risk to workers from intrusion accidents in highway work zones. Seven specific countermeasures were selected for widespread implementation: transverse rumble strips, reduced spacing for channelizing devices, enhanced flagger station setups, reduced work zone speed limits, increased police enforcement, variable message signs, and drone radar. These countermeasures were specifically intended to enhance driver awareness of work zones through additional visual, audible and tactile stimuli and message. A coordinated program was developed to ensure consistent application at appropriate work sites throughout the state. Reporting, quality assurance, and evaluation and follow-up steps were included to facilitate implementation and evaluation of program effectiveness, Results over the 1999 construction season confirmed widespread application of countermeasures at appropriate sites. Extensive outreach to agency staff, contractors and police agencies, combined with public awareness efforts, resulted in an enhanced focus on work zone safety throughout the 1999 season. While specific accident reductions cannot be associated with individual countermeasures or program elements, accident records show a reduction in serious work zone traffic accidents in 1999, as well as a reduction in serious worker injuries. Based on these positive results, the agency is integrating these countermeasures into its standard specifications and operational procedures. Lessons learned from this initiative are listed for consideration by other agencies considering work zone safety improvement initiatives.
Publisher: Transportation Research Board
Publication Date: 2001
Full Text URL: Link to URL
Publication Types: Books, Reports, Papers, and Research Articles
Topics: Countermeasures; Intelligent Transportation Systems; Intrusion Alarms; Temporary Traffic Control; Work Zone Safety