The 2009 Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices recognizes the potential safety benefit of providing enhanced delineation on temporary traffic control devices and allows for warning light enhancements on channelizing devices and temporary barrier walls. The argument for using warning lights in work zones is that they provide an incremental benefit to safety. Ideally, the additional costs of using warning lights should be offset by that safety benefit; in other words, the reduction in crash costs should equal or exceed the costs of the devices. In this study, the researchers collected and analyzed data on the cost of steady-burn warning lights, computed the increases in crash costs that could be expected to occur in two types of work zones, and computed the reductions in crash costs (i.e., safety benefits) that would have to occur from the use of the steady-burn warning lights to justify their use on a benefit-cost basis. On the basis of the results of this cost-effectiveness evaluation, the researchers recommend that the use of steady-burn warning lights in work zones be discontinued.
Publisher: Transportation Research Board
Publication Date: 2014
Full Text URL: Link to URL
Publication Types: Books, Reports, Papers, and Research Articles
Topics: Benefit Cost Analysis; Warning Lights; Work Zones