SafeZone - Effectiveness
In 2007, the New South Wales Roads & Traffic Authority (RTA) undertook a study of several driver warning systems, including flashing road-side and flashing over-road speed advisory signs, as well as an in-road system. The aim was to determine the relative effectiveness of each in modifying the driver behaviour as they approached, entered and travelled through a 40km/h school zone. The trials included 5 sites fitted with SafeZone systems.
Independent review of the trial results confirmed:
"The RTA observed 66,335 vehicles entering School Zones with (SafeZone) devices installed. Prior to installation traffic entered at 49km/h (49.6% compliance) and following installation traffic entered at 40.9km/h (81.2% compliance).
No other combination of solutions, excluding the treatment with Fixed Speed Cameras in short school zones, lowered the traffic speed to within 1km/h of the goal. The (SafeZone) device was partnered with the most effective stand-alone device*, yet the addition of the (SafeZone) in-pavement alert device improved the effectiveness by 63-71% (depending upon the metric)."* refers to speed sign with flashing red LED ring
Better still, when a measurement of reliability was applied (number of failures per 30,000 hours), the trials showed the following:
"The RTA observed 17,904 switching cycles over 107,425 operational hours for the devices. There were 21 events of incorrect operation, all of them attributable to the (RTA) control architecture or human error on behalf of a third party. The result is that the RTA observed no faults attributable to the Alert Devices. This performance was the best of any device (trialled)."
In summary, SafeZone made 'the most effective' road-side flashing warning signs more than 60% more effective, by better highlighting that the school zone was active. Better still, it showed that more drivers (better than 80%) entered the slower speed zone doing within 1km/h of the 40km/h limit, meaning drivers were slowing down before they entered the slower zone, because they'd been better advised IN ADVANCE.
The fact that the system was the most reliable of any system trialled makes SafeZone an even better option for safety applications, such as railroad and pedestrian crossings, where reliability is absolutely critical!
It's interesting to note that the only other solution as effective at modifying driver behaviour and getting them to slow down when approaching and entering a school zone, were speed cameras! So, while SafeZone is a very effective warning device (more so than road-side flashing lights) in its own right, it's also a MORE AFFORDABLE solution!
While this trial focussed on the effectiveness of the in-pavement beacons, it also measured the relaibility of the wireless control system at the heart of SafeZone. Subsequent deployments of SafeZone in railway crossing applications has further tested and confirmed the system's effectiveness. Simply contact us for references regarding these deployments.