Effectiveness of Speed Reduction in Work Zones

According to the U.S. Federal Highway Administration’s Work Zone Management Program, 956 fatal crashes occurred in work zones in 2021, up from 863 in 2020 (https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/wz/resources/facts_stats.htm). Speeding was determined to be a factor in about one-third of fatal crashes in the work zones. Highway agencies have been searching for ways to reduce speeding and associated crash outcomes in work zones. For example, the California Department of Transportation has been using the Non-Standard Special Provision 12-4.02C(12) since 2010 that requires contractors to implement Construction Work Zone Speed Limit Reduction. This work requires installation of temporary construction signs and portable changeable message signs equipped with speed sensing radars, the additional cost of which is justified if the implementation is effective. Research is needed to confirm the extent to which current efforts to lower speed limits in work zones are effective in reducing operating speeds, and the frequency and severity of crashes involving workers and road users. The objective of this research is to evaluate changes in vehicle speeds and crash outcomes associated with efforts to lower speed limits and achieve desired operating speeds in work zones. The research will identify ways to enhance existing practices for achieving desired operating speeds though work zone design, enforcement, and intelligent transportation systems (ITS) solutions.


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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01894689
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 17-124
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Sep 26 2023 4:46PM