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