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Assessment of Color Change on Variable Message Signs Shows Safety Boost

Posted: Jan 30, 2023

Researchers at the University of Utah found that road efficiency and safety was improved in snowy and icy conditions when variable speed limit signs used amber instead of white lettering on a black background. They found the corridor’s average speed and speed variation are reduced after the implementation of new signs. In addition, drivers tend to drive closer to the speed limit, and the compliance rate, which is the critical indicator of the VLS system performance, has improved. The new signs have resulted in significantly lower crash rates and severity. In addition, the researchers developed a safety model that can used to assess the potential impact of other safety improvements.

Xianfeng Yang, Ph.D.
University of Utah

I-80 Hybrid Regulatory Speed Limit Signing Design and VSL System Evaluation

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050