Safety Guidelines for Field Data Collection

Safety concerns are always present when personnel are working near or adjacent to a highway. Safety must include the workers as well as the motoring public. Construction safety has received extensive attention, but this research focuses on personnel working near or adjacent to the highway for shorter periods of time and involved in collecting data (traffic volumes, license plate numbers, speed studies,etc.), setting up data collection equipment or administrating roadside interviews. While Part 6 of the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devises (MUTCD) discusses traffic controls in for maintenance activities, it is not clear if these provisions are always practiced or adequate for data collection activities. Interestingly one southeastern department of transportation (DOT) has no formal policy for a vehicles parked on the shoulder of an interstate highway to record license plate data so long as the vehicle is parked less than 24 hours. Also many states do not administer roadside origin-destination surveys because of safety concerns. Some states permit these survey techniques only on lower volume, low speed roadways if adequate safety precautions are practiced. Other states only permit less intrusive techniques such as handing out postcards on ramps. Questions that should be addressed include what are adequate safety provisions, where can these intrusive surveys be practiced safely and what procedures should be followed to ensure a safe environment? A recent study noted at least ten states are relying on roadside interviews to collect valuable transportation planning data and a number of states have adopted written policies and practices manuals. The observations from these states can be supplemented with the experiences of consultant firms that routinely conduct such surveys. The outcome of this project will be a set of safety guidelines for the collection of field data and will include both intrusive and non-intrusive data collection techniques.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $25000.00
  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Department of Transportation

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Performing Organizations:

    Southeastern Transportation Center

    University of Tennessee
    309 Conference Center Building
    Knoxville, TN  United States  37996-4133
  • Principal Investigators:

    Wegmann, Frederick

  • Start Date: 20081001
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20090901
  • Source Data: RiP Project 25545

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01463995
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Southeastern Transportation Center
  • Contract Numbers: RO1-1313-121, Y1-PO1
  • Files: UTC, RIP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:34PM