Development and Evaluation of a Rural Intersection Active Warning System
Authors: Hamish Mackie a, Colin Brodie b, Ken Holstc, Fergus Tated, Richard Scotte
Abstract: This study describes the development of a Rural Intersection Active Warning System (RIAWS) and the outcomes from the first two RIAWS pilot sites in New Zealand. The RIAWS trial is part of a wider programme by the NZ government to address safety at high risk intersections. The evaluation measures reported here include system performance, motorist speed and driver perception. The RIAWS has the aim of reducing fatal and serious crashes at high risk intersections by reducing traffic speed when potential for a collision exists. Side road and right turn sensors trigger a variable speed limit of 70 km/h on major roads with existing 100 km/h speed limits. Motorist behaviour and perceptions since RIAWS implementation have been positive. Modal traffic speeds at the intersections when the 70 km/h speed limit sign is activated range from 68-72 km/h compared with modal speeds of 81-96 km/h before RIAWS installation, when potentially conflicting traffic is present. Driver feedback via a questionnaire suggests that most motorists understand the purpose of the system and believe the signs are conspicuous, legible and credible. The findings suggest that RIAWS is likely to significantly reduce the crash forces involved in collisions at high speed intersections and potentially reduce the likelihood of collisions.
Keywords: Road Safety, intersection, variable speed limit, human factors
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