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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Improved Grade Crossing Safety with In-Pavement Warning Lights

  • Author(s): Cohn, Theodore E.
  • et al.

The focus of this project is the modification of a commercially available in-pavement warning signal that was evolved from one originally designed to indicate the presence of pedestrians in a crosswalk. We have proposed use of a similar device to provide warning to vehicles approaching a railroad grade crossing, and we have tested a variety of illumination patterns in order to provide an optimal implementation of such a warning device. Our laboratory tests demonstrate an improvement in visual response, as evidenced by a lowered reaction time, to a pattern that incorporates alternating groups of spatially-separated flashed LEDs in order to stimulate perception of movement. We have also completed preparations, including installation, for a future field test to study vehicle behavior in the presence of embedded warning lights incorporating this modified firing pattern.

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