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  1. LightGuard Systems appoints new distributor for its traffic safety product line in the Southeast

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    LightGuard Systems® is pleased to announce that it has recently appointed SESCO Lighting as its new representative in the Southeast region for its traffic safety warning light system product line. SESCO Lighting will offer expert guidance on equipment selection and configuration, advising customers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee—as well as Cuba and the Caribbean Islands—on the best LightGuard Systems solution for their particular needs.

    Customers in these regions can now discuss their requirements for Smart Crosswalk™ in-roadway warning lights, solar wireless RRFBs, passive pedestrian detection sensors, radar detection devices, and illuminated warning sign systems directly with a SESCO Lighting sales expert. 

    As the largest lighting manufacturers’ representative company in the nation with over 50 years of experience, the SESCO Lighting team brings a strong technical background, along with the knowledge and experience to ensure their recommended solution will suit the customer’s application.

    Sher Paz, National Sales Manager at LightGuard Systems said, “We are delighted to be working with SESCO Lighting to ensure that our customers receive the best support in the Southeast region. They’re a terrific team who shares our enthusiasm in representing LightGuard’s pedestrian and traffic safety product line.”

    SESCO Lighting’s knowledge of the market—along with their relationship focused approach—will be invaluable in supporting LightGuard Systems to provide our customers from both government agency and private sector markets with a service that is second to none.

    For more information or a quote, contact SESCO Lighting at [email protected] or (407) 629-6100.

  2. The cost of pedestrian injury versus the cost of prevention

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    Pedestrian accidents in crosswalks occur all too often and are on the rise. According to a recent GHSA study[1], the nationwide number of pedestrians killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2018 was 6,227 – an increase of four percent from 2017.

    Accident prevention can come at a cost. But the cost of crosswalk accidents at a private facility or public crosswalk can be more costly – even devastating to the business or city.

    While providing pedestrian safety systems for many industries, including private campuses and facilities, as well as airports, cities and school zones, we have witnessed that the cost of pedestrian accidents can massively outweigh the cost of prevention.

    So what do pedestrian accidents cost?

    All crosswalks carry a certain level of risk regardless of location. Whether it’s at a parking garage entrance or exit, a corporate campus parking area, a heavily used public downtown crossing, or at a trail crossing where pedestrians take walks – anywhere vehicles intersect with pedestrians potential danger exists.

    For example, according to published data thousands of individuals are struck by automobiles that are backing out of parking spots every year. Parking lot accidents can take place at grocery stores, supermarkets, shopping malls, school parking structures, building parking garages and lots, airport parking structures, and just about any kind of parking lot. Low-speed impacts with pedestrians in parking lots are thought of as minor, but often result in serious and life-threatening injuries including fractures to the foot, knee and ligament damage, brain injuries, and facial injuries, even death. Victims of parking lot pedestrian accidents are entitled to compensation from all at fault parties.

    Damages caused by pedestrian accidents can be easily mitigated by adding more safety lighting such as a pedestrian warning system, which is better known as a lighted crosswalk. Lighted crosswalks are a fixed cost. 

    Public streets, workplace and facility injuries, however, can create a financial ripple effect. This goes well beyond medical expenses and can cost any company, city or facility owners valuable time and money.

    According to OSHA, it has been estimated that employers pay almost $1 billion per week for direct workers’ compensation costs alone. The costs of workplace injuries include direct and indirect costs. 

    What are direct and indirect costs?

    Direct costs include workers’ compensation payments, medical expenses, and costs for legal services. Examples of indirect costs include legal representation, accident investigation and implementation of corrective measures, lost productivity, and costs associated with lower employee morale and absenteeism.

    A further look into these costs:

    Compensation for employees or injured family members

    If a member of staff is injured in a work-related accident, it is the employer’s responsibility to cover any medical expenses. If a pedestrian is injured at a private or public parking garage or facility, the facility owners (or city if a publicly owned property) may be sued by the injured party and/or their family. Accidents victims at locations with a history of pedestrian accidents have been awarded upwards of $12M.

    What you can do to increase the safety of pedestrians?

    Prevention is the key. You can help prevent any of these costs and potentially human lives by putting preventions in place:

    Advanced warning lights 

    Smart Crosswalk in-roadway warning light system image
    Smart crosswalk components: in-roadway warning lights (IRWLs), base plates, passive pedestrian detection bollards (or push buttons), LED border-enhanced warning signs (or RRFBs), solar or AC powered controller, and cabinet.

    The most effective way to prevent pedestrian injury and accident costs is to install a LightGuard Systems advanced warning light solution. Lighted crosswalks are a proven method of alerting drivers of pedestrians inside a crosswalk. In-roadway warning lights are embedded into the asphalt ahead of the crosswalk. When a pedestrian enters a crosswalk, sensors trigger the system’s flashing lights. RRFBs or LED border-enhanced warning signs can also be added to increase the level of warning. Using motion detection devices, pedestrians can also be warned of approaching vehicles with LED warning signs, or other output devices available from LightGuard Systems.

    The price is irrelevant, as pedestrians lives will be saved

    The equipment cost of a LightGuard Systems smart crosswalk advanced warning solution (the prevention) starts at $5000 with an average system cost of $14,500 — which is far better than the ongoing costs of pedestrian accidents. 

    [1] Spotlight on Highway Safety, Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State, 2018 Preliminary Data, Governors Highway Safety Association, @GHSAHQ

  3. How we help you select the right lighted crosswalk for your pedestrian safety project

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    When busy crosswalks face low driver compliance to pedestrians, installing a lighted warning countermeasure—such as LIGHTGUARD’s proven in-roadway warning lights, LED border enhanced warning signs, and/or solar flashing RRFBs—is a smart safety option. Deciding which one, or all of these, warning measures will be the most effective way to increase driver yieldings can be daunting.

    Traffic engineers in the crosswalk jurisdiction should always access each location and recommend an appropriate treatment that takes into account traffic and pedestrian flow, speeds, weather conditions, visibility, cost, sun exposure, and other relevant information. Created as a quick visual guide, our product matrix helps to determine which of our lighted crosswalks is right for your installation location based on number of lanes, posted vehicle speeds, and power source.

    Our product matrix helps to determine which of our lighted crosswalks is right for your installation location based on number of lanes, posted vehicle speeds, and power source.

    Why is it important to specify for your lighted crosswalk project?

    Specifying the best lighted crosswalk countermeasure for your location is critical for ensuring safety, longevity, and cost-effectiveness. As the inventors of the lighted crosswalk category, our robust systems are time-tested with 25 plus years of installed systems to prove it. 

    If you are interested in a solar powered system, we apply our SolarCalculator™ tool to assess panel size and battery power needs – to ensure that your system always has enough power. Giving us the crosswalk location’s precise street address also helps us to determine if a solar panel will receive enough sun exposure latitudinally. Otherwise, our AC systems operate on 12 VDC, making them an attractive low-energy consumption alternative.

    What kind of questions do we ask for a solar lighted crosswalk installation?

    Our sales and engineering staff take the time to run multiple simulation equations for your installation in order to properly determine the best real-life scenario before making any recommendations. Our solar controllers are capable of collecting and storing data, such as time, date and number of activations, and can be adjusted for activation on/off times for multiple crosswalk zones.

    We will start by asking you several questions, such as:

    • How many lanes does the crosswalk have?
    • What kind of LIGHTGUARD lighted crosswalk is desired, in-roadway warning lights (IRWLs), RRFBs or LED signs?
    • Did you know that IRWLs are commonly used in conjunction with RRFBs and/or LED signs to increase visibility to motorists?
    • Do you want solar power, or a solar wireless system? If solar power, does the site receive direct sun exposure?
    • Do you want passive or manual pedestrian activation?
    • How many activations in a 24 hour period are you expecting?
    • Where will the system be installed? Please be as specific as possible, including cross streets and google map site location.
    • Is the location in a snowy region or flood zone?

    After we receive the above information, we recommend our best, most effective system and provide a cost estimates with other add on options, if desired. 

    Request a quote

    To request a quote for a LightGuard Systems lighted crosswalk for your project, call us at (707) 542-4547, or use our online Contact Us form available at our website. If you decide to use the online form, please include answers to the above questions in a MSWord or PDF file, and attach any plans, drawings, or photos you might have of the location. We will get back to you with any further questions before providing you with a price quote.

  4. LightGuard Announces Development of Innovative Traffic Safety Warning APP with U.S. Patent Awarded

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    SANTA ROSA, Calif., April 9, 2019—North Bay Area LightGuard Systems, Inc., manufacturer, distributor and tech leader of pedestrian/motorist warning traffic control devices announces the development of HeadsUp!®—a mobile traffic safety warning app for use at crosswalks, school zones, work zones, and on school buses and emergency vehicles, such as highway patrol units who are stopped along the roadway—among other applications.

    HeadsUp! sends alerts via a beacon which transmits a BTLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) signal to the app in advance of pedestrian activity, roadway hazards, or other changes in traffic conditions. The beacon integrates with the company’s lighted crosswalks and can be installed at intersections, crosswalks, on school buses and work zone trucks, or worn on the body by a cyclist or jogger, for example.

    HeadsUp! App sends alerts in advance of manual or on-demand events—such as a pedestrian activating a lighted crosswalk—and has a broad range of traffic safety applications, including roadway hazards, emergency vehicle, or other changes in traffic conditions.

    Manual or on-demand events—such as a pedestrian activating a lighted crosswalk—trigger the beacon to communicate with the app via BTLE short-range communication. Motorists receive instant alerts—such as the presence of a pedestrian in an approaching crosswalk—via IOS or android mobile device.

    HeadsUp! can substitute some CVI (Connected Vehicle Interface) functions, while also offering a more easily deployable, and less expensive option. Unlike CVI, its alerting system does not rely on line-of-sight. HeadsUp! also offers more timely alerts by broadcasting directly to a mobile phone—bypassing multiple communication layers, such as those CVI uses.

     “Smart cities, schools, and the autonomous vehicle industry need a scalable way to tackle pedestrian and traffic safety,” says LightGuard Systems President Michael Harrison. “We believe that we have the solution and are excited to begin field testing.”

    About LightGuard Systems

    For twenty-five years, LightGuard Systems—traffic safety pioneers and creators of the lighted crosswalk category—has provided cities, schools, urban planners and transportation engineers early warning devices for pedestrian enhancements. Customers choose LightGuard Systems for their robust, reliable, cutting-edge technology, better pedestrian safety outcomes and a safer, more effective traffic calming measure—such as their world-renowned Smart Crosswalk™ in-roadway warning light system. Visit LightGuard Systems at and follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

    LightGuard Systems solutions include:

    • Warning systems for uncontrolled intersections and mid-block crosswalks
    • Equipment that triggers a system’s flashing lights
    • System controllers, data collection, storage and management devices
    • Solar wireless illuminated warning signs
    • Solar wireless flashing RRFBs

  5. Applying Wireless Technologies to Pedestrian Safety Systems

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    Wireless technologies fill different roles in pedestrian safety systems

    By nature a wireless system only replaces wires, but it doesn’t replace the information passed on by the medium. Depending on what information needs to be communicated and/or its context, different technologies are deployed.

    Solar powered system

    For example, some people refer to a solar powered system as wireless, since no external wires to the system (AC power lines) have to be connected for the power source.  In this context, no information is communicated wirelessly.

    Wireless sensors

    Another commonly deployed technology addresses wireless detection – identifying the presence of pedestrians at a crosswalk entrance in order to activate the safety systems.  The generic term for this application is sensors.  There are a host of sensor technologies designed for this purpose, where some fill the purpose efficiently and inexpensively, while others are costly and less effective.

    Wireless activation devices

    A third technology can be thought of as a wireless switch – like a garage door opener, or TV remote control, or a key fob, etc.  The device transmits a signal to wirelessly activate a switch. These are deployed in crosswalk safety systems at all entrances to a crosswalk so that the signaling devices at each entrance don’t have to be physically connected to each other in order for the entire system to operate.

    Remote wireless transfer

    A fourth technology is an extension of the third.  It facilitates bi-directional communication for remote information transfer. The key term here is remote.  This application is deployed to operate equipment without actually being on site at the crosswalk controller.  This technology is the most advanced and also supports the US DOT Integrated Traffic Systems goals.

    LightGuard Wireless Crosswalk Alerting System Component Option List

    Outputs: Electrical loads:
    RRFB-FMUTCD compliant flash patterns, brightness/beam-patterns, 1w, 12vdc
    RRFB-FSMUTCD compliant flash patterns, brightness/beam-patterns, 2w, 12vdc
    Illuminated signsMUTCD compliant border enhanced, 5w, 12vdc
    Interface for single beacon1,2or dual alternating beacons1,2, 25w max, 12vdc
    OtherExtensible message signs1, voice message & locator tones

    Inputs: Activation Mechanisms:
    PBA R10-25 Manual Piezo push button mechanism (4EVR), 0.5w 12vdc, MUTCD R10-25 sign
    PBAManual Piezo push button mechanism, (4EVR), 1w, 12vdc, LED embedded sign pair
    PBA Guardian Manual Piezo push button mechanism, programmable voice message, 8w 12vdc, LED
    T6Automatic IR (wireless) passive directional pedestrian detection bollard sensor 2w 12vdc, LED courtesy light
    OtherMotion sensors2, Microwave detectors1,2, loop detectors1,2

    PowerGRID (120VAC) or Solar
    LowSolar: 30w min Solar Panel, 35AH Battery, 3A max
    MediumSolar: 55w min Solar Panel, 100AH Battery, 5A max
    HighSolar: 80w min Solar Panel, 200AH Battery, 10A max

    Configurable/Programmable, LCD, keypad, scheduled activations via internal RTC, data logging, supports up to 4 different outputs simultaneously

    Wireless Communication
    900MHz Industry Standard RF, FCC approved, secure node/gateway connections, supports 1 Master + 1 Slave up to 1 Master + 4 Slaves2 for multiple crosswalks managed from one controller

    Enlighten1 Flash Rate, Bollard inputs, Multi-Slave (4 max), Dual Alternating Beacons, Multi-output Master

    Static signs
    Arrow, Pedestrian, school, etc…

    1 – not supplied by LGS | 2 – additional upgrade required

    LightGuard Solar Wireless System with Power, Outputs & Inputs Options

    Pictured above: LightGuard’s Solar Wireless LGS-WRRFB-F System with power, outputs and inputs system options/call-outs.

    System Configuration:
    Controller — Configurable/programmable, LCD, keypad, scheduled activations via internal RTC, data logging, supports up to 4 different outputs simultaneously

    Wireless activation hardware— 900MHz industry standard RF, FCC approved, secure node/gateway connections, supports 1 master + 1 slave up to 1 Master + 4 Slaves, 2 for multiple crosswalks managed from one controller

    Upgrades — Enlighten1 flash rate, bollard inputs, Multi-Slave (4 max), Dual Alternating Beacons, Multi-output Master

    Static signs — Arrow, pedestrian, school, etc…

  6. How to Get a Lighted Crosswalk in Your Community

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    There is an unsafe crosswalk in your community and you want a lighted crosswalk installed. Sometimes the solution is as easy as making a phone call to your city’s traffic engineer. In reality, you may need to build a case, get community buy-in, and petition your city for an effective traffic safety solution. These 8 steps will help guide you through the process, and navigate the many traffic safety project hurdles that you may encounter along the way.

    Step #1: Identify the Crosswalk that You Want “Lit Up”

    Identify the crosswalk location that you feel is unsafe and where you would like the city to install a lighted crosswalk system. To qualify for a lighted crosswalk system, the location must be an uncontrolled mid-block crosswalk, or uncontrolled intersection, where no traffic lights or signs [stop or yield] are used to indicate the right-of-way.

    Step #2: Talk with Neighbors and Community

    Find out if your neighbors and other community members also have a pedestrian safety concern around the same crosswalk that you have identified. If so, let them know that you are organizing a petition to the city to improve pedestrian safety by installing a Smart Crosswalk™, and that you will be planning and inviting them to a meeting to help organize and support this effort. If you can, organize a meeting through your block captain, neighborhood group, or homeowners’ association. If the crosswalk is at or near a school zone, contact the local PTA group, school principal, or other local organization for support. You will have an easier time approaching local officials if you work with existing community leadership.

    Step #3: Research Your City’s Procedure

    Research and be clear on your city’s procedure for traffic calming devices, such as lighted crosswalks. These specifics will help you determine your course of action. Cities may require a traffic or pedestrian crosswalk study before authorizing a lighted crosswalk system, so your initial goal might be to prompt this.

    1. Identify the appropriate department and contact person. It may be public safety, engineering, public works, transportation, street, or something else.
    2. Identify the local process for obtaining a traffic study, if one is required.
    3. Identify legal and preferred [already in use] traffic calming methods for your municipality. Not every city allows lighted crosswalk systems, but most do.
    4. Print related guides and applications from your local government’s website.

    Step #4: Hold a Community Meeting & Begin Gathering Data

    By now, you understand what your municipality requires and have defined the target crosswalk location in need of a lighted crosswalk system. Bring all of this with you to share with the community at the meeting. Additional research may need to be done and/or items filled out for the city. Items to discuss at the meeting could include:

    1. The cause(s) of the unsafe crosswalk. Does heavy traffic start before and extend beyond your block and this location? Look at the bigger picture; try to be specific about the cause of the safety issue.
    2. Establish who will be the liaison and contact between the neighborhood and the city.
    3. Determine what data needs to be collected and who will be responsible for collecting it. Make sure the format is easy to understand. Data to collect includes:
      • Identify the number of pedestrian-generating facilities (Ex. schools, parks, restaurants, transit stops, shopping malls), basically any place that generates pedestrian activity, their proximity to the target area and frequency of occurrence.
      • Identify when heavy traffic, speeding, and any other driving condition that create hazards.
      • Identify pedestrian usage of the crosswalk, and times. [Most accidents occur at nighttime.]
      • Try to demonstrate that a number of cars aren’t stopping for pedestrians.
      • Identify the number or percentage of pedestrians considered vulnerable; this includes children under 12, seniors, disabled, etc.
      • Gather other data, accident reports, newspaper articles and stories about the crosswalk location.
      • It is helpful to collect testimonials from neighbors about how the dangers of this crosswalk affects their and/or their family’s safety, and impacts their quality of life.

    Step #5: Create A Petition

    By now you should have enough information to create your petition. You can create one yourself with space enough for 200 signatures (or more if required by the city). Print it out and begin gathering signatures, or use online petition sites such as:, or Online petitions make signature-gathering and sharing easy, and let you email the petition directly to the city and other local officials. Be sure to collect addresses along with signatures, as the city will want to see the names of its local residents who are in favor of a lighted crosswalk. If accidents have occurred at this crosswalk, include URL links or photocopies of news articles, photos of the crosswalk, testimonials from residents, and documentation gathered from Step #4 and attach send with the petition.

    Step #6: Present Your Case to the City

    Present/send the signed petition, along with your city’s official application and documents created in Step #3. Include a cover letter with your contact information explaining your request for a lighted crosswalk system, such as a LightGuard Systems Smart Crosswalk, and the reasons your community wants this.

    1. Provide the name of your neighborhood or organization and the crosswalk location.
    2. Tell them why you are concerned about this crosswalk’s safety, and reference the neighborhood testimonials, data, accident reports, newspaper articles and stories collected in Step #4.
    3. Explain that you’ve held a meeting and have a petition with a certain number of signatures from residents in the target area.
    4. Explain the procedure you are following, such as the city’s application form.
    5. Print (on official letterhead, if possible) and mail these to your city contact(s) identified in Step #3.

    Step #7: Contact Other Local Officials

    You should also identify and reach out to your local council person, police precinct and fire house. Ask your council person to send a letter of support to the city contact. Can they provide any resources to assist? Ask the precinct if they are able to conduct a traffic study, if needed.Report findings back to your community.

    Step #8: Follow Up

    However, if you do not hear back from your city contact within two weeks, call and follow up. Ask when you can expect to receive an answer about the installation of a lighted crosswalk system, and the next steps in the process. [You may need to do this several times.] If necessary, bring your formal complaint—and other concerned neighbors—to council meetings or other relevant public meetings.

    TIP: If tax dollars are insufficient for funding a lighted crosswalk project, consider holding a fundraising event or online campaign. Funding sources could be neighbors, local businesses and government—anyone who has an interest or whose establishment will be affected by the project. Get pricing from LightGuard Systems on lowest cost options, such as a push button activated, AC powered flashing LED sign or RRFB system—a faster and less costly solution than a complete lighted crosswalk system with in-roadway warning lights. For ideas, take a look at our Smart Crosswalk Brochure and starting pricing.

  7. INFOGRAPHIC: 2017 Trends in Traffic Fatalities

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    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) releases its Traffic Safety Facts Research Notes on U.S. 2017 traffic fatalities. In 2017, despite a trend downward in traffic fatalities over the past 40 years, 37,133 people were killed in motor vehicle related crashes on U.S. roadways. Twenty-seven states saw a reduction in traffic fatalities in 2017, with California seeing the largest reduction, with 235 fewer fatalities. Twenty-two states saw an increase with the largest seen in Indiana, with 85 additional fatalities.

    Here are some highlights on pedestrian and traffic crashes and deaths from 2008 to 2017:

  8. RRFB Industry Updates & FHWA Approvals

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    Information for our Customers and Agencies Regarding the Federal Highway Administration’s Recent Rescission of Interim Approval for RRFBs (Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons)

    RECENT UPDATES: January 29, 2018 & March 20, 2018 (at end)

    The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has rescinded its approval of new installations of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB), effective December 21st, 2017, due to on-going patent lawsuits which LightGuard Systems is not involved in or a party to, regarding the design of the RRFB.RRFB

    What are the implications for existing RRFBs?

    As detailed in FHWA’s December 21st Memorandum, “Installed RRFBs may remain in service until the end of useful life of those devices and need not be removed.”

    Any new RRFB installations after December 21, 2017 could present a liability risk for agencies and we are not recommending that RRFBs be proposed or installed on public roads until the patent issue is resolved.

    For customers and agencies that have purchased or have an existing contract with LightGuard Systems to purchase RRFBs, but have not yet installed them, we recommend that the agency release a bid addendum to remove the installation of RRFBs, and substitute our MUTCD compliant Flashing LED Signs as a stand-alone system, or in conjunction with our in-roadway warning lights.

    Managing Existing RRFB Systems

    When existing RRFB devices are damaged and require replacement, it is recommended that the device be removed at the crossing location and replaced with another treatment, such as LightGuard Systems’ MUTCD compliant Flashing LED Signs and our Smart Crosswalk™ in-roadway (embedded) warning lights.

    LightGuard Systems’ Flashing LED Warning Sign Systems:

    • Offer high visibility and increased driver yieldings
    • Contain 96 super-bright, high-intensity LEDs
    • Our LEDs are high-powered, with 12 x’s more lights and 10 x’s more duty cycle rate than other flashing signs on the market
    • Are available in A/C, solar, and wireless solar power
    • Can be activated with push button, wireless detection bollard or radar
    • Can be used for continuous flashing applications
    • Can operate as a stand-alone system, or be paired with our in-roadway warning lights
    • Are cost effective and easy to install—making them an ideal, budget-friendly alternative to RRFBs
    • Are FHWA and MUTCD compliant


    Available in 30” and 36”, our flashing  LED signs are robust, maintenance-free and powerfully built. They flash at our Enlighten1™ rate, which is photosensitive epilepsy safe.

    Our LED signs are time-tested with over twenty-five years of operation at thousands of locations throughout the US—offering an effective, tried and true crosswalk warning light solution.

    To learn more and request a quote for your project, contact us today at (707) 542-4547.

    UPDATE: January 29, 2018
    FHWA issued an update regarding current RRFB projects. Agencies that had previously requested and received approval from FHWA can complete projects that have documentation of RRFBs with procurements issued and/or construction plans underway prior to the December 21, 2017, notice. See Q3 on the MUTCD FAQ page for more details.

  9. Pedestrian Crosswalk Warning Light Systems | GOOD, BETTER, BEST

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    [Updated Jan. 23, 2019] In 2017, 5,977 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States, 16% of all traffic fatalities. This is a 1.7% increase in pedestrian fatalities from 2016 1 and averages to about one crash-related pedestrian death every 1.6 hours.  Forward thinking cities and municipalities with a Vision Zero strategy of achieving zero pedestrian deaths are installing lighted crosswalks to help make public crossings safer environments for pedestrians.

    When Designing a Lighted Crosswalk, The Goal is to Save Lives  with The Most Effective Solution

    When it comes to achieving pedestrian safety with lighted crosswalks, the goal isn’t to save money—it’s to save lives! Each situation is also different and therefore, requires a unique solution. For example: 2-Lane school zone crosswalks in residential neighborhoods; 4-Lane un-controlled intersections on busy city thoroughfares; multi-level shopping mall parking structures with interior walkways; city park trails that traverse several roads; public venues with multi-point parking lot entrances—just to name a few situations. Understanding that each pedestrian crossings requires a specific design that takes into account all of its needs is important. Ideally the effectiveness of the system, and not its costs will determine which system is selected.

    Speeds Affect Crosswalk Visibility

    According to the NHTSA, “…more than 75 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur at non-intersection locations, and vehicle speeds are often a major contributing factor.”1  The motorists’ field of vision is different at different speeds. The faster the speed, the more targeted the field of vision.2

    Field of Vision at Different Speeds

    As a driver’s speed increases, their peripheral vision narrows severely. [Graphic via LADOT Vision Zero Report]


    RFFBs are installed at both ends of the crosswalk underneath pedestrian signs. The RRFB’s amber lights flash in a ‘wig-wag,’ ‘one-two,’ strobe-like pattern that catches motorists’ attention, alerting them to crosswalk activity. RRFBs perform best on roadways with ≤4-Lanes, in speed zones ≤20 mph—at speeds that offer the greatest field of vision to motorists—and in areas where motorist familiarity with the crosswalk location is high. With a lower cost, the RRFB is an attractive entry-level safety option. However, RRFBs are a newer MUTCD traffic control device and some motorist confusion3 has been reported.


    BETTER: Flashing LED Warning Sign Systems

    For crosswalks with ≥2-Lanes, in ≥20 mph speed zones, and where commuter or highway cross-traffic exists (i.e., out-of-towners), flashing LED warning signs are an ideal solution. LED signs simply and elegantly communicate the message that a pedestrian is inside the crosswalk by reinforcing existing traffic warning measures. They are non-intrusive, as signs must already be used at crosswalks.

    LightGuard’s flashing MUTCD compliant signs contain 96 high-intensity LEDs, greatly enhancing the sign’s visibility to the motorist. They flash only when a pedestrian is present and increase motorist yielding. LED signs can have active or passive detection, be paired with in-roadway warning lights or used as stand-alone systems. LED signs are budget-friendly, easy-to-install and offered in solar, A/C and wireless solar.

    BEST: In-Roadway Warning Lights (IRWL)

    9X LED LightStar™ In-Roadway Warning Light Installation

    For crosswalks on ≥2-Lane roadways in ≤45mph speed zones, In-Roadway Warning Lights (IRWL) are the most effective method at alerting the motorist. IRWLs illuminate the crosswalk lines—visually reinforcing the crosswalk, and alert the motorist up to 1,000 feet in advance using our proprietary Enlighten1 flash rate. Coupled with LED signs, IRWLs provide the maximum level of pedestrian safety and warning to the motorist. IRWLs also offer the highest level of visibility within the field of vision at all speeds. They are the most reliable method at alerting the motorist in severe weather, on wide roadways with no center dividers, and at night, when pedestrians’ need for safety is greatest.

    LightGuard’s in-roadway warning lights alert motorists 1,000 feet in advance of the crosswalk

    • In-pavement LED traffic calming devices have evolved and are becoming more effective with less maintenance issues
    • Studies using LightGuard’s in-pavement LED products show improvements in drivers yielding to pedestrians and better yielding at night4
    • In-pavement warning lights are visible at all speeds, even when drivers’ peripheral vision narrows with speed

    Field of Vision at Different Speeds with IRWL Lights

    NOTE: In-roadway warning lights are visible at all speeds. [Graphic via LADOT Vision Zero Report with modifications by LightGuard]

    In-Roadway Warning Light systems offer the greatest design flexibility and help overcome crosswalks with limited visibility, obstructions, curves in the roadway and where crosswalk approaches are hidden from the motorists’ view. LightGuard’s Smart Crosswalk™ IRWL is a highly configurable system that can be used with advanced controllers, radar devices, push buttons, LED signs, pedestrian detection bollards and solar power. IRWLs are ideal for use at parking structure exits, building entrances, airports, employee crossings and other locations where pedestrian safety is a concern.

    Motion detectors, IRWLs and flashing LED signs are used at an underground parking garage exit to alert motorists to the presence of pedestrians on the sidewalk. Trace Loft building, Seattle, Washington.

    4-Lane Smart Crosswalk IRWL system with automatic pedestrian detection bollards. Marco Island, Florida

    With the broadest application, time-tested IRWLs are LightGuard Systems’ most specified lighted crosswalk system

    Smart Crosswalk System at the Outlet Mall in San Clemente, CA

    Shopping mall entrance with multiple parking and crosswalk access points. The Outlets at San Clemente, California. Installation includes: custom bronze colored bollards; flashing 9X LightStar™ in-roadway warning lights, and flashing LED pedestrian signs.

    The Zone of Convergence

    Only LightGuard’s IRWL light beams can be directionally aimed at the approaching motorist’s line of sight, merging to form a blanketed area of light that we call ‘The Zone of Convergence.’ LightGuard’s IRWLs flash at the Enlighten1™ (meaning ‘to inform one’) rate which was developed in conjunction with the UC Berkeley Vision Detection Laboratory. Enlighten1™ reaches a primitive part of the brain that responds to danger and is photosensitive epilepsy safe.

    Aesthetics Matter

    The sleek, low profile of LightGuard’s IRWL system on the curb and in the street appeals to a minimalist sense of design. Whereas erecting a huge mast arm across the roadway, or crowding the curb with more traffic controls is contrary to every design idea we as a modern society are accustomed to. Undergrounding power lines and utilities is requisite to all new residential and urban design. The same design sensibility should also be applied to pedestrian safety.

    In-roadway warning lights are low profile, appealing to a minimalist design aesthetic.

    In contrast, HAWK beacon traffic control devices clutter the roadway and cost roughly 4X more $$$$ than in-roadway warning lights, even before installation costs are considered.

    Studies Using LightGuard Systems’ IRWL

    LightGuard Systems, inventors and pioneers of in-roadway warning lights have had numerous studies conducted using our IRWL system. In a study conducted by Whitlock & Weinberger Transportation Inc., April 1998, LightGuard’s Smart Crosswalk™ IRWL system increased driver yield rates to pedestrians from 20 percent to 95 percent in the evening.4 LightGuard’s products can be customized to fit any uncontrolled marked crosswalks, crosswalks marked with pedestrian, school or trail crossing signs, at locations such as:

    • Urban mid-block crosswalks
    • School zones
    • Intersections with through lanes on major legs
    • Multi-lane crosswalks
    • Greenways
    • Trail crossings
    • Public parking garages
    • Corporate campuses
    • Rail Grade Crossings

    LightGuard’s solutions include:

    • Flashing LED safety systems for crosswalks and pedestrian crossings
    • Automatic and manual activation devices that trigger a lighted system
    • System controllers, data collection, storage and management devices
    • Flashing LED Sign and Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacon (RRFB) systems
    • Flashing LED pedestrian, stop, yield, school zone and other signs




    1. National Center for Statistics and Analysis. (2018, October). 2017 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview (Traffic Safety Facts Crash•Stats. Report No. DOT HS 812 603). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
    2. Bartmann, W. Spijkers and M. Hess, “Street Environment, Driving Speed and Field of Vision” Vision in Vehicles III (1991)
    3., Flashing lights at crosswalks confuse motorists at two busy intersections in Lewiston, by Shannon Moudy, (February 1st, 2017).
    4. Whitlock & Weinberger Transportation Inc., An Evaluation of a Crosswalk Warning System Utilizing In-Pavement Flashing Lights (April 1998).
    5. A. Leaf and David F. Preusser. Literature review on vehicle travel speeds and pedestrian injuries. (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Dept. of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1999).


  10. LightGuard’s TraxAlert™ ‘Lights Up’ RR Grade Crossing in Elk City, OK in USDOT Study

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    Embedded roadway lights at railroad grade crossing

    A demonstration was held with representatives from several agencies, including Volpe National Research Center, Farmrails, City of Elk City and the ODOT on September 18, 2017. This illuminating event commemorates the first installation and study of TraxAlert™ LED in-roadway warning lights (IRWL) used at a RR Grade Crossing in the state of Oklahoma. Funded by the USDOT Volpe National Research Center, the study will evaluate traffic behavior and motorist stopping yield rates before and after the IRWL installation. Results will be available in early 2018.

    About TraxAlert™

    TraxAlert™ is an in-pavement LED warning light signaling system designed for Rail Grade crossing safety. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 240,528 at-grade highway-rail crossings exist in the United States. Even with gates and signal lights, nearly 50% of vehicle-train collisions occur at crossings, creating the need for a more effective active traffic warning device. TraxAlert’s red and amber LED in-roadway warning lights (IRWL) are embedded into and across the roadway, creating two LED flashing warning lines in front of the railroad tracks. The amber IRWLs are located at the stop bar line and define where motorists should stop. The IRWL lights flash automatically, activated by the approaching train. First the red IRWL flash in a quick strobe pattern, then remain on until the train clears the track crossing zone. The amber lights continually flash for the duration of the train’s crossing.

    About LightGuard Systems®

    For twenty-five years, LightGuard Systems’—pioneers in traffic safety and inventors of lighted crosswalk systems—has helped cities, municipalities, schools, traffic safety and transportation engineers build safer crossing environments for pedestrians, students, employees, the elderly and disabled. Customers choose LightGuard for its easy-to-install, robust, reliable and cutting-edge-technology systems, better pedestrian safety outcomes, and a safer, more effective public safety traffic calming method. In a study conducted by Whitlock & Weinberger Transportation Inc., April 1998, LightGuard’s systems increased driver yield rates to pedestrians from 20 percent to 95 percent in the evening.

    LightGuard’s products can be customized to fit any uncontrolled marked crosswalks, crosswalks marked with pedestrian, school or trail crossing signs, at locations such as:

    • Urban mid-block crosswalks
    • School zones
    • Intersections with through lanes on major legs
    • Multi-lane crosswalks
    • Greenways
    • Trail crossings
    • Public parking garages
    • Corporate campuses
    • Rail Grade Crossings


    LightGuard’s solutions include:

    • Lighted safety systems for crosswalk and pedestrian crossings
    • Automatic activation and manual push button devices that trigger a lighted crosswalk warning system’s blinking lights
    • System controllers, data collection, storage and management devices
    • Flashing LED pedestrian, stop, yield, school zone and other signs
    • Flashing LED Sign and Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacon (RRFB) systems

    History of Smart Crosswalk™

    In 1991, LightGuard’s President, Michael Harrison conceived the idea of a pedestrian crosswalk warning system after a close friend was involved in a fatal crosswalk crash. After several years of research and development, the first ever lighted crosswalk system was created. In 1999, LightGuard presented its technology to the Federal MUTCD Marker and Signals Committees, recommending amendments to the existing MUTCD manual. After both committees approved the recommendations, the FHWA made the final decision on the language and inclusion of in-roadway warning lights at crosswalks into the Millennium Edition of the Federal MUTCD. (See: MUTCD Section 4N). LightGuard Systems® in-roadway warning lights (AKA lighted crosswalks), are now a recognized traffic calming standard in the U.S. LightGuard Systems holds multiple design and utility patents and is based in Santa Rosa, California.